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Whaling Fleets Condemned as Hunt Imminent

Wednesday 12 May 2004

Whaling Fleets Condemned as Hunt Imminent

Despite public condemnation Japanese and Norwegian whaling fleets will set sail this week for their annual hunt.

The Norwegian government plan to take 670 minke whales in the only openly declared commercial whale hunt in the world, while the Japanese government aim to kill 210 minke, Bryde's, sei and sperm whales in the North western Pacific in a so called “Scientific” whaling programme. Iceland, the world’s third whaling nation, has not yet made a decision on this year’s take or if their “scientific” research programme will continue.

Despite marketing efforts, freezers in Norwegian supermarkets are full of unsold whale meat from the 2003 hunt. Japan's hunt is carried out under the sham that it is for 'scientific' reasons, despite the fact that the body for which the 'research' is being done, the IWC, does not need the data being produced and has called for the programme to be ended.

In September 2003 Greenpeace embarked on a public tour in Iceland to present an offer to the Icelandic Government that shows the clear economic and environmental gain in choosing tourism over whaling. (1)

“Iceland is being used by the whaling lobby. If Iceland gives up whaling, it will defeat the move by the whalers to expand the number of countries in an effort to make whaling more respectable,” said Greenpeace Spokesperson Rebecca Hayden.

Greenpeace will be campaigning at the annual IWC- meeting in Italy this July for the moratorium on whaling to be respected and for the IWC to shift its focus away from catching whales to the conservation of whales

“Commercial whaling has always been a disaster for whales. The only management scheme for whaling that shows any signs of success is the moratorium on commercial whaling and we want it maintained,” concluded Hayden.

ENDS

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