WDC is closely monitoring the situation following information that a container ship, the Cosco Pride yesterday entered the port of Hamburg with a cargo of meat from endangered fin whales, slaughtered during the current Icelandic whale hunts. At least 22 fin whales have died since the hunting season opened last month. It is believed the whale meat was transferred onto the Cosco Pride at the port of Rotterdam from another vessel owned by the Samskip company, which had brought the meat from Iceland.
Only last month, WDC wrote to the EU to raise concerns about Iceland, Norway and Japan shipping whale products via EU ports. These whaling countries are not EU members and they refuse to be bound by regulations governing international trade in endangered whale species such as fin whales. WDC believes that since the EU prohibits international trade in whale products, that no exception should be made for non-EU countries to abuse its ports by transiting prohibited products.
Although the whale meat will not actually clear customs and thus not officially enter the EU market, WDC believes that by allowing such shipments to transfer through its ports, the EU is facilitating trade in an endangered species which is protected by multiple EU laws and whose hunting is contrary to the current international ban on commercial whaling.