This is called AMAZING video of a twirling Finback Whale – Dana Point, California, USA.
From Wildlife Extra:
The 2015 fin whale hunting season begins in Iceland
Iceland’s fin whaling season has begun with the first boats leaving harbour overnight to hunt for the world’s second largest species of whale.
Iceland’s lone whaling operator, Kristjan Loftsson, usually begins fin whaling on or around Iceland’s National Day of June 17 but this year the departure has been delayed, apparently because of a strike by veterinary inspectors.
The vessel Winter Bay, which is registered in Saint Kitts and Nevis, had also been stuck in Hafnarfjordur harbour in Iceland for several weeks due to serious technical problems.
The 2015 minke whaling season has already begun but has also faced delays and difficulties because of the veterinary inspectors’ strike.
According to the Minke Whalers’ Association and the Fisheries Directorate websites, 14 minke whales have so far been killed.
Iceland’s own kill quotas allow whalers to harpoon up to 229 minke whales in a season. A quota of 239 was issued for last year but only around 10% of the catch limit, 24 minkes, were killed.
This year’s catch limit for fin whaling is 154. Last year Iceland’s whalers took 137 fin whales, the meat from which is currently in transit to Japan.
The shipment of 1,700 tonnes is believed to be the entire stock from last summer’s fin whaling season. It was loaded onto a cargo vessel that is currently moored in Tromso, Norway.
Last year, the freighter Alma made the voyage from Iceland to Japan carrying 2,000 tonnes of whale meat, sailing south of the Cape of Good Hope, rather than through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, which is a much shorter route.
This was to avoid docking anywhere along the way following earlier shipments of whale meat being returned after international ports rejected their cargos.
Patrick Ramage, Global Whale Programme Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare ( IFAW) says: “It is very disappointing to see Mr Loftsson pressing ahead with the slaughter of more endangered fin whales.
“Icelanders don’t even eat fin whale meat yet these whales continue to be killed because of the actions of one businessman intent on resuscitating the whale meat trade.
“At the same time as more of these magnificent animals are being harpooned, last year’s unused supply of fin whale meat is struggling on its long and circuitous route to Japan.
“This enterprise will prove extremely costly not just to Mr Loftsson but also to Iceland’s international reputation.”
Whale watching is now one of the top tourist attractions in Iceland, generating around £10 million annually and attracting more than 200,000 tourists each year, proving that whales are worth far more to the Icelandic economy alive than dead.
In partnership with Icelandic whale watching coalition Icewhale, IFAW promotes responsible whale watching as an alternative to the cruelty of whaling. It opposes all commercial whaling as being inherently cruel as it says there is no humane way to kill a whale.
It encourages tourists to avoid eating whale meat and works with Icelandic restaurants, promoting those that choose not to serve whale meat through a ‘whale friendly’ restaurants campaign.
Recent Gallup polling found only around 3% of Icelanders claim to regularly eat whale meat. The percentage of tourists who say they have tasted whale meat has more than halved over the last five years from 40% in 2009 to 18% in 2014.
Reykjavik City Council has passed a cross-party resolution calling on the minister of fisheries to create an enlarged sanctuary for whales in Faxafloi Bay.
Last September, the 28 member states of the European Union led a coalition including the US, Australia, Brazil, Israel and New Zealand in a political demarche stating their “strong opposition to Iceland’s continuing and increased harvest of whales…and to its ongoing international trade in whale products.”
I’ve signed a petition recently to stop this.. I think it was AVAAZ
Hi Valerie, there are several petitions about this:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/633/723/914/ (still going)
https://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/save-whales-stop-illegal-whaling-iceland (closed now)
News on AVAAZ petition on this:
That one is at
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He just hacked her foetus out and trashed it. This Icelandic multi-millionaire has been slaughtering hundreds of endangered fin whales – many of them pregnant.
But finally we can stop him!
Right now, the government is reviewing his whaling permit, and if we create an urgent global outcry, we can push them to ban this macabre hunt! Sign with one click, before the government decides:
It’s sickening. They just shot her with an exploding harpoon, hacked the foetus out of her, and trashed it. She was just one of 125 endangered fin whales Icelandic millionaire Kristjan Loftsson killed this year.
Fin whales are awe-inspiring — capable of communicating through song, feeling love and deep emotional suffering. Loftsson is the last man on the planet still slaughtering these gentle giants for profit – often while they’re pregnant.
But finally we can stop him.
Right now, Iceland’s new government is considering ending whaling, but they could face a mountain of backlash from the tycoon andhis whaling lobby.
It’s up to us to show them the whole world supports a ban! Sign the petition below with one click, before the government decides:
Tell Iceland: Stop the whale butcher
To Iceland’s Prime Minister, Fisheries Minister, and all members of the Icelandic government:
“As citizens from around the world, we are horrified by Iceland’s continuing hunt. We urge you to use this opportunity to end whale hunting in Iceland and to champion greater protection for whales worldwide.”
Tell Iceland: Stop the whale butcher
Scientists recently discovered cells in whales’ brains that process complex emotions like romance and grief. These were thought to exist only in humans and great apes, but whales have up to three times more of them than humans!
The whalers argue that there are plenty of fin whales around Iceland, but this is a globally endangered and protected species that was nearly hunted to extinction in the past century. And the cruelty is unbearable — the exploding harpoons cause a slow, painful death.
Millions of tourists flock to Iceland every year for its natural beauty and to watch whales playing in the wild. But visitors are left in shock when they see one of Loftsson’s ships floating in bloody water, hauling a carcass. “Just tell them to look somewhere else. They can just turn around and look the other way,” he says. Let’s show him that we won’t turn a blind eye to this massacre!
The government is reviewing Loftsson’s license to kill right now. So we need to move fast! Add your name and share everywhere – when we make it massive, Avaaz will poll the shifting public opinion in Iceland and expose this horror to Iceland’s booming tourist industry:
Tell Iceland: Stop the whale butcher
Our movement has gone up against Loftsson’s fleet before. When one of his whale meat shipments tried docking in the Netherlands, we pushed Dutch authorities to close their ports, and then Avaazers in Germany helped block ports there too! Now we have our best chance to stop his slaughter, for good.
With hope and determination,
Spyro, Rewan, Danny, Lisa, Camille, Rosa, Alice and the rest of the Avaaz team
Whale foetus dragged “to the trash” after mum is harpooned by whalers during hunt in Iceland (The Mirror)
Meet Iceland’s Whaling Magnate. He Makes No Apologies. (The New York Times)
Whales in love: Like humans, their brains are wired for romance (The Independent)
An Environmentalist Is Iceland’s New Prime Minister (The New York Times)
Iceland’s Captain Ahab runs ships on whale oil (The Times)
Iceland sets target of 191 kills as country resumes whaling (The Guardian)
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