If you think the whales have been saved, guess again

The international moratorium on commercial whaling, agreed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986, is one of the greatest conservation successes of the 20th century. But although the commercial hunting of large whales was banned, Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to exploit loopholes to kill whales and to trade whale products internationally – while continuing their efforts to undermine and ultimately overturn the international ban..

Fin Whale caught in Iceland. Credit EIA.

Fin whale being landed at Hvalfjordur whaling station, Iceland (c) EIAimage

Recent years have seen a worrying rise in international trade in whale products, with Iceland and Norway expanding their trades in minke and endangered fin whale products to exploit a gap in the Japanese market. At the same time, Japan, Norway and Iceland all continue to seek ways to boost domestic markets for whale products.

This year, Iceland’s controversial fin whale hunt ended with a catch of 155 endangered fin whales, the largest slaughter of the species since the 1986 moratorium. Iceland has continued exporting whale products in defiance of the international ban on such trade; more than 7,200 tonnes of blubber and meat have been sent to Japan since Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006..

Japan on the other hand continues its annual coastal whale and dolphin hunts and has just this week announced it will commence a new whaling programme in the Antarctic in defiance of an International Court of Justice ruling which determined that its previous programme was not for “purposes of scientific research”. Japan is also one of the main destinations for fin whale meat originating from hunts in Iceland, despite the ban on international trade in fin whales under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Whale meat on sale in Norway (c) paulthompson dot info

Whale meat on sale in Norway (c) paulthompson.info

Norway has also continued its commercial whaling programme, with SPAR Norway (part of the international SPAR convenience store chain) propping up the country’s struggling whaling industry. Earlier this year, EIA partnered with other organisations to expose meat products from hunts of protected minke whales in Norwegian waters for sale in SPAR Norway stores.

This barbaric slaughter and trade needs to end now, but we need your help.

This year, we are taking part once more in the Big Give Christmas Challenge with the aim of raising £15,000 (or more!) towards our projects in 2016 to help end North Atlantic whaling.

By taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, you not only have the opportunity to DOUBLE YOUR DONATION, but every penny raised will go towards undercover investigations and innovative campaigns to expose those behind the trade and put an end to it.

To stand the greatest chance of doubling your donation to EIA, please log on to our Big Give Christmas Challenge page at 12 noon GMT on December 4 and 5 and click on ‘Donate Now’.

You can visit our Big Give webpage for more information, or to be added to our reminder list please email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 20 7354 7960.

With your support, we believe we can continue to make a meaningful difference and help save these magnificent species so they don’t simply exist as a memory for us and future generations.