Kitty Block, Vice President of Humane Society International has contributed to a piece in Livescience.com asking for the United States to give serious consideration to stepping up its game against commercial whaling ‘through a more aggressive foreign policy approach’.
So what did yesterday’s closed-door session reveal? From the opening session it’s hard to tell.
WDC congratulates the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel companies whose brands include Radisson, Park Inn and Quorvus, which yesterday confirmed that it has added whale meat to its list of prohibited foodstuffs. The move follows a complaint made by a tour guide whose party stayed at the Group’s Radisson Blu hotel at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway where they were shocked to see whale meat on the menu. The ban covers over 440 hotels in 72 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa operated by the Rezidor Group.
The Norwegian Råfisklag (Fishermen’s Sales Association) reports that, as of Monday June 30th, 603 minke whales have been killed. Although the season is barely halfway through, the grim tally already exceeds last year’s total of 590 whales and once again, Norway has allocated itself a quota of 1,286 whales.
As of Wednesday, a total of 79 minke whales have so been killed this season by Norwegian whalers, reportedly 55 more than at this stage last year. In what is being reported as a “good start to the season”, Arvid Johansen of the Norwegian Fishermen's Sales Organisation, Råfisklaget, further commented that he could “barely keep count [of the number of whales killed].” This year, 23 vessels have been licensed for minke whaling activities and 11 boats have already reported catches.
Back in 2007 a humpback whale photographed close to Texel Island in the Wadden Sea, Netherlands was positively matched to a humpback whale photographed off Toe Head, County Cork, Ireland several months later. Several weeks after frequenting Irish waters, the same individual was re-sighted just 60km south of where it was initially recorded off the Netherlands.
It’s not often that whaling campaigners are left momentarily speechless –we’re too used to dealing with the unimaginable and standing up for the rights of those that have no voice – but events at this week’s Green Week fair in Germany left us open-mouthed and left others, some in high places, with egg on their faces.
Within the European Union it’s strictly against the law to harm a whale or dolphin. This means that it’s highly illegal to go whaling.
However, there appears to be nothing to stop ports and shipping companies making money out of helping to ship whale meat from non-IWC sanctioned hunts, through EU ports and on to Japan.
And that’s what’s happening at this very moment. European ports and shipping companies are funnelling whale meat from port to port and then on to Japan.
Just after Norwegian scientists reported concerns about levels of pollutants in Norwegian farmed salmon, Aftenposten reports that Norway has successfully lobbied the EU to allow farmed salmon to be exported to the EU which have been fed on foodstuffs with a higher levels of toxins than was previously acceptable.
Andrew Darby reporting in the Sydney Morning Herald that the impacts of whaling from some 30 years ago are still be seen in some populations of whales.