US anti-whalers condemn massive Norwegian whale kill

 

November 4, 2005

America ’s Whale Alliance, a coalition of US based anti-whaling groups, has condemned Norway after the announcement that the extended Norwegian whale-hunting season ended last week with a reported 639 minke whales killed . According to the Norwegian Raw Fish Sales Organization about 800 tons of whale meat have been sold to whale meat producers while the blubber, which is heavily contaminated with toxic pollutants, has been thrown into the sea.

 

According to reports, a special working group has been convened to examine ways to increase public demand for whale meat in order to justify a dramatic increase in quotas for next year. This season new whale products have been introduced such as whale ‘ham’ and sliced whale ‘beef’ in an attempt to boost public consumption. ‘Whale burgers’ were even served up at a rock festival this summer. 

 

Earlier this year Norway announced plans to more than double the whale kill next year to over 1500 whales.  Norway unilaterally resumed commercial whaling in 1993 in defiance of a global ban on commercial whaling. Norwegian whalers have killed over 6,000 minke whales, mostly pregnant females, since then. AWA believes it is the lack of international pressure that is encouraging Norway to kill even more whales each year.

 

Tami Drake of AWA said yesterday ‘ Norway is literally getting away with murder on the high seas while the US just sits back and does nothing’.  She added ‘The US could and should apply sanctions against Norwegian imports and stop this cruel slaughter overnight. That’s what we and the vast majority of the American people want.’

 

The US has domestic fisheries laws, including the Pelly and Packwood-Magnuson Amendments (1), that could invoke economic sanctions against countries like Norway and Japan that violate international conservation agreements such as the International Whaling Commission’s ban on whaling. According to recent polls, over 75% of Americans support the international ban on whaling and 66% approve of applying trade sanctions against those countries defying the ban (2). However, so far the US has not taken any punitive action against the defiant whalers and is actively involved in negotiations to legitimize commercial whaling.

 

Norway had set a quota for 796 minke whales for their 2005 whaling season, but fell short.  "The whalers have been quick to blame high fuel prices as the reason for this year's reduced numbers of whales killed, because they don't want to acknowledge that whale numbers may actually be in decline.  This is even more frightening because prior to the implementation of the whaling ban, the NE minke whale population was deemed to be below the protection threshold by the International Whaling Commission” said Drake.

Americas Whale Alliance, representing millions of Americans, wants the United States Government to apply sanctions to countries such as Norway and Japan that are killing whales in defiance of an international Treaty.

 

‘How many more whales must die before the US Government starts reflecting the sentiment of the majority of  American citizens and takes action?’ said Drake.

 

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1 - The Pelly Amendment (22 U.S.C. §§ 1971-1979)authorizes the President to prohibit the importation of products from countries that allow fishing operations that diminish the effectiveness of an international fishery conservation program or that engage in trade or taking that diminishes the effectiveness of an international program for endangered or threatened species.
2 - Harris Interactive and Market Strategies - June 2005 opinion poll

 

 

Tamara Drake

on behalf of America's Whale Alliance

www.americaswhalealliance.org

Contact: Tamara Drake 541.552-0502

www.oceandefense.org

 

 

 

 

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