AR-News: (NZ) Greenpeace MV Esperanza Arrives in Iceland

Animalara2003 at aol.com Animalara2003 at aol.com
Wed Jun 23 00:06:25 EDT 2004


Scoop
Wednesday, 23 June 2004, 8:51 am
Press Release: Greenpeace 

Greenpeace MV Esperanza arrived in Icelandic whaling center, Isafjordur 
Isafjordur 22 June 2004 - "Choose the future, not whaling", was the message 
communicated when the Greenpeace ship, MV Esperanza arrived at the port of 
Isafjordur, the number one Icelandic whaling center. The port visit is the first 
stop in this year's shiptour in Iceland. During the day Greenpeace will meet 
with locals communities, whalers and fishermen to discuss the future of whaling 
in Iceland. 
The Icelandic government recently announced that they will put their so 
called "scientific" whaling programme on hold and limit this year's take to 25 
minke whales. The planned take of 500 whales, including sei and fin, during a 2 
year period, has been cancelled due to a strong domestic criticism combined with 
the lack of a market for whale products. 
A total of 36 minke whales were caught last year when Iceland, despite 
massive global protests, resumed whaling again for the first time in 14 years. (1) 
"Iceland is on the border between old and new, future and past", said 
Greenpeace International Ocean Campaigner, Frode Pleym. "The Government of Iceland 
should make the obvious wise decision and cancel the entire programme. By 
choosing the only truly sustainable future path, Iceland can set an example for 
other whaling nations to follow and secure a future for the people of this 
country". 
The market for whale meat is small and decreasing in whaling nations Iceland, 
Norway and Japan due to changed eating habits and the level of environmental 
toxins in the whale products. Iceland still has an ample supply of whale meat 
left over since last year's take and no future market is in sight. 
The growing domestic opposition to whaling came as a surprise to the 
Government. The Icelandic travel industry association and the whale watching operators 
have made it clear that a restart of whaling in Iceland will damage the 
reputation of the nation and decrease the amount of tourists visiting. Tourism and 
whale watching has become one of the major sources of income in Iceland. 
"Early indications are that eco tourism- and whale watching in particular- , 
is already suffering because of whaling, said Frode Pleym."

full story:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0406/S00255.htm 





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