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Monday, November 06, 2006

Iceland's bloody trade with Japan, update on monk seals

In another manifestation of Icelandic bloodletting, Iceland is now shipping whale meat to Japan. So, after saying fuck you to the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, Iceland is saying fuck you with a harpoon to the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species.

Kristjan Loftsson, chief executive of Icelandic whaling company Hvalurj, said there was "no problem" finding markets for whale meat in Japan, and added that there were "no restrictions on whale exports to Japan".

"We are back in business with about 100 tons of excellent eco-friendly whale meat and blubber ready for the market," Loftsson said. He added that his company had stopped whaling for the year because of poor weather and a lack of daylight.

The fin whale is the second largest species of whale after the blue whale.

What happened the last time people hunted whales?

The 60 to 70ft fin whale, the second largest animal after the blue whale, was put on the list, says the IUCN, because almost three-quarters of a million were taken in the southern hemisphere between 1904 and 1979 along with vast numbers of blue whales, of which fewer than 1,500 remain in the world.

The fin whale's population is poorly understood in most areas outside the North Atlantic, where recent studies show there are more than 40,000.


In another update, the Hawaiian monk seal seems to have an additional survival pressure besides starvation; gillnets. Say goodbye.



  • There are plenty of fin whales in the waters where Iceland has been hunting them.

    The IWC Scientific Committee plans to be able to provide advice on commercial catch limits for fin whales in this region within the next couple of years.

    Whales breed and reproduce. Sustainable harvests are possible. It's simply important to ensure that levels of harvest do not exceed the productive capacity of the targetted stock of whales.

    By Anonymous david, At 3:51 am  

  • Thank God whale reproduce and breed, it is their only defence against us. Let me repeat, there is no reason to kill whales expect for human beings own, short-sighted cravings for tasty morsels. Further, what Japan, Iceland and Norway are doing is creating a market for whale meat. As that market grows, more whales will be killed to meet that market, and, then, say goodbye. So, david, stop eating whale meat.

    By Blogger Tristen, At 9:58 am  

  • There is a very good reason to kill whales on a sustainable basis - provide food and develop economic activity around this. Aka, sustainable development.

    If you are anti-trade or anti-capitalism then your issue is probably not with whaling specifically.

    The reason that nations agreed to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is that they recognised that whale resources needed to be conserved and used on a sustainable basis, not an unsustainable basis, which had been the standard mode of operation up until that point in time - indeed it wasn't until the 1970's when the IWC finally started to set sustainable commercial catch quotas for whales.

    The reality is that there is a demand for whale meat in various parts of the world (and it's not limited to the 3 nations that you mention). There is no point in trying to prohibit whale meat markets, because it won't work, and will only encourage illicit trade. Regulating whaling is the proper answer. With proper regulations the incentives to operate illegally are reduced, and conservation efforts can be pursued in a more effective manner.

    By Blogger David, At 4:05 pm  

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