Tues 19th June 2007: Press Release: No embargo
Campaigners call on major UK Supermarkets to help save 600 whales
Campaign Whale and the Marine Connection today launched a campaign calling on supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s to stop buying Icelandic fish products in protest at the country’s resumption of whaling. Iceland resumed commercial whaling last October and their whalers have already killed 7 endangered fin whales and two minkes out of a quota of almost 70 whales, including 30 minkes for so-called ‘research’.
The Icelandic Marine Research Institute, currently killing minke whales for ‘research’ condemned as unnecessary by the IWC, has just proposed that Iceland could kill up to 600 whales next season. Campaign Whale’s Andy Ottaway, who has just returned from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Anchorage which upheld the existing ban on commercial whaling, said:
‘Iceland claims whales must be culled to protect fish stocks. The UK is the biggest market for Icelandic fish and prawns, and Tesco and Sainsbury’s, hold the biggest market share. The public don’t want to buy fish tainted by the slaughter of whales and Tesco and Sainsbury’s can do something about that'
The IWC has already issued resolutions calling on Iceland to stop commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling. 25 governments, including the UK, have also delivered a demarche to the Icelandic government calling for Iceland to respect the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling and to switch to the non-lethal study of whales.
The campaign is inviting the public to send postcards, emails and letters to the Chairman of both Tesco and Sainsbury’s calling on them to make it clear to Iceland that if whaling continues they will be forced by public demand to find alternative sources for their fish and prawns.
‘Iceland’s return to whaling is economic madness, particularly as their whale-watching industry is worth far more than whaling can ever be’ said Liz Sandman of Marine Connection, ‘We have no wish to harm innocent parties in Iceland but their fishing interests must remove themselves from any association with the cruel slaughter of whales completely.’
Notes to Editors:
The Icelandic Marine Research Institute has proposed Iceland could kill 200 fin whales and 400 minkes next season.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has just rejected proposals by Iceland and Norway to reopen international trade in whale products.
Iceland was the first country to conduct ‘scientific’ whaling killing almost 400 fin and sei whales between 1986-9. After a fish boycott campaign Iceland stopped whaling and quit the IWC in 1991.
Iceland rejoined the IWC in 2003 and began so-called ‘scientific’ whaling again, killing 160 minkes whales between 2003 and 2006
In October 2006 the Government announced the resumption of commercial whaling and seven endangered fin whales and a minke whale have been killed out of a quota of 9 fin and 69 mink
Fin whales are classified by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as ‘endangered’
Iceland’s expanding whale watching industry is worth an estimated £25million, far more than whaling could ever be.