Stop Norwegian whale meat in SPAR supermarkets, petition

This video is about dwarf minke whales off Australia.

From OceanCare:

No whale meat in SPAR supermarkets!

OceanCare is calling on SPAR International to use its influence to persuade NorgesGruppen and SPAR Norway to immediately withdraw from all purchasing, processing, sales and distribution of whale products. Raise your voice to save the whales now.

Protest now

Dear Mr. Leutholds,

To my dismay I’ve discovered that SPAR/EuroSPAR stores in Norway are selling whale meat. These activities fuel a cruel, unnecessary and antiquated hunt, which ignores the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling, which came into effect in 1986.

The Norwegian Government has allowed the killing of more than 12,000 minke whales since the whaling ban took effect, including at least 534 individuals that have been killed so far this season.

However, demand for whale products in Norway is very limited; this is why the whaling industry is desperately trying to find new ways to boost the domestic market. It is more than disappointing that SPAR’s parent company NorgesGruppen has let itself be taken in by this strategy, and is actively cooperating with a Norwegian whaling company and the Norwegian government to boost whale meat sales.

While I am aware that SPAR stores outside Norway do not sell whale meat (this would be in violation [of] national and international laws), SPAR Switzerland should act in its own best interest by urging NorgesGruppen and SPAR Norway to immediately stop sales of whale meat. The name of the SPAR group must no longer be tainted with the blood of protected whales.

I call on you to help to stop this bloody business.

Yours sincerely,

PS: This message will be forwarded to your colleagues from SPAR International (Netherlands) and national SPAR Central Offices in Germany, Austria, England, and France.

WHALES ARE DYING IN DROVES OFF THE COAST OF ALASKA The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is incredibly worried. The news comes on the heels of the agency’s announcement that July was the hottest month on record. [Ed Mazza, HuffPost]

Iceland’s mad millionaire Loftsson keeps butchering whales

This is called AMAZING video of a twirling Finback WhaleDana 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.”

Stop Icelandic whaling, new app

This video says about itself:

9 October 2012

Gentle Giants is located in the famous whale watching town Húsavík, Iceland, often considered the Whale Watching Capital of Europe. With a 98% success rate of spotting whales, our aim is to raise general awareness and interest in whales and their habitat. Welcome aboard!

From Wildlife Extra:

New app from IFAW promotes whale friendly tourism in Iceland

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW have launched a free ‘Whappy’ app, that contains information about whale friendly restaurants in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik which have pledged not to serve whale meat. It also features whale watching operators, whale friendly souvenirs and an identification guide for whales and dolphins that can be seen in Icelandic waters.

Sigursteinn Masson, IFAW’s Icelandic representative, said: “The new app is another way of informing tourists visiting our beautiful country about the wonder of whale watching, but it also helps them make whale friendly decisions and ensure their trip does not leave a bad taste in their mouth.

“Many tourists are not fully aware of the contradiction of going whale watching then later eating whale meat. Icelanders have very little appetite for whale meat these days, so if tourists sample whale meat in our restaurants they are contributing directly to the number of whales being killed.”

In collaboration with Icelandic whale watching operators’ coalition IceWhale, IFAW operates a summer ‘Meet Us Don’t Eat Us’ campaign in Iceland with volunteers informing and educating tourists about the realities of whaling and whale meat consumption. The project was launched in 2010 after it became apparent that with only a tiny percentage of Icelanders claiming to regularly eat whale meat (3% according to most recent Gallup polling*), tourists had become a significant part of the domestic market for minke whale meat.

At the time, whale meat could be found on the menu of all but a handful of restaurants in downtown Reykjavik. 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. In addition, the ‘whale friendly restaurants’ scheme has resulted in less than 50% of restaurants now offering whale meat on the menu. The rest have pledged not to serve whale meat and display a whale friendly sticker in their windows.

Masson said: “We hope tourists and tour operators will use our Whappy app and help enhance tourists’ experience. Iceland is one of the best destinations in Europe for whale watching with the opportunity to see a huge variety of species of whale and dolphin.”

Whale watching is now one of the top tourist attractions in Iceland, generating around £10 million annually and attracting more than 220,000 tourists each year, proving that whales are worth far more to the Icelandic economy alive than dead.

The 2015 minke whaling season has already begun with unconfirmed reports that the first two minke whales have been killed, although the hunt is being delayed because of a strike by veterinarians who are needed to inspect the catch. Fin whaling, which is carried out primarily for export to Japan, is expected to start around June 15 this year.

Iceland’s self-allocated kill quotas allow whalers to harpoon up to 229 minke whales this summer. 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 endangered fin whales.

For more information on Whappy and download links visit

British Prince William’s sister-in-law eats whale meat

This video from Australia says about itself:

Swimming with Dwarf minke whales on board Eye to Eye Marine Encounters

From Wildlife Extra:

Pippa Middleton admits eating whale meat in newspaper column

Pippa Middleton has recieved criticism from conservationists across the world for eating whale meat on a trip to Norway, which she recounted in her column for the Daily Telegraph.

In the piece she said: ”We dined on smoked whale carpaccio (which tastes similar to smoked salmon but looks more like venison carpaccio).”

Despite strong international pressure and commercial whaling being banned since 1986 Norway is still one of three countries (the other two are Japan, and Iceland) that still allows whaling and in 2014 had a record year when more than 700 were killed.

“This is really disappointing news, particularly as Pippa is so high-profile, and given how active her brother-in-law, William [Duke of Cambridge], is on speaking out against poaching and wildlife crime. Commercial whale hunting is banned, the UK government backs the ban and for good reason. Killing whales is cruel, there is no humane way to kill them and many are slaughtered using brutal harpoon grenades. Last season, 731 minke whales suffered an agonising death at the hand of Norwegian whalers.”

Pippa does not say what type whale meat she ate but the most likely one is minke, the second smallest baleen whale.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “It’s likely that Pippa Middleton wasn’t aware of the horrific suffering caused by commercial whaling nor the devastating damage that it causes to whale populations.  By eating whale meat, she is unwittingly setting a bad example that may encourage other tourists to do likewise. We would hope she acknowledges her mistake and will promote whale watching true to the slogan: meet us, don’t eat us.”


“Pippa is not known for common sense or compassion, but it still beggars belief that anyone, let alone someone from a country like ours, where whale meat has long been banned, could be oblivious to the uproar over Norway’s slaughter of these gentle giants,” Elisa Allen, associate director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.K., said Thursday in an exclusive statement to E! News. “Does she think or read? What’s next, a panda steak or an elephant canapé? These whales are harpooned and bled to death before they’re gutted. If Pippa is looking for a culinary experience, some of the best high-end vegan food—recently named by Forbes magazine as a top food trend—can be found in Norway, and it’s good for the heart, an organ Pippa seems to lack.”

Kate Middleton’s uncle charged with assault after incident in London street: here.

Norwegian toxic whale meat, banned even by the Japanese government

This 2010 video from Australia is called Swimming with Dwarf minke whales on board Eye to Eye Marine Encounters (Sunday Night Program).

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Japan refuses Norway’s toxic whale meat

Pesticides identified in a shipment of minke meat put the spotlight on Norwegian whaling

Emma Bryce

Monday 23 March 2015 11.14 GMT

Whale meat just became even less appetizing. Conservation groups have revealed that Norwegian exports of minke whale to Japan contained damaging levels of toxic pesticides, making that meat unfit for human consumption. It’s a discovery that could cue a swifter decline in the appetite for whale.

The news emerged this month, when the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) revealed documents showing that the Japanese government rejected imports of Norwegian whale meat because tests showed samples contained pesticides at twice the limit Japan imposes on its imports. The meat harboured chemicals such as aldrin, dieldrin, and chlordane, thought to play a role in causing birth defects, neurological harm, and some cancers if humans consume them in high quantities.

Norway continues to run a large scale whaling industry—the country took a record catch of 736 minke whales in 2014—but surprisingly, it doesn’t exist for Norwegians. “Fewer than five percent [of Norwegians] eat whale meat regularly,” says Kate O’Connell, a marine wildlife consultant from the AWI, explaining that they see it as old-fashioned fare.

By comparison, Japan is a much bigger market. “Japan has always been the main consumer of whale products,” says Clare Perry, the head of the EIA’s oceans campaign. But even there, it’s losing its appeal. “It’s not fashionable at all. There’s an older generation in Japan that have a nostalgia about eating it, but it’s not in any way a staple diet,” she says. Nevertheless, a chunk of the Norwegian catch is still exported there annually: 137 tonnes of Norwegian minke have entered Japan in the last two years.

Proof of pesticide poisoning may somewhat sour that appetite, something that even a global hunting ban hasn’t been able to quash. There are three remaining countries that continue to hunt and eat whale—Norway, Japan, and Iceland—and each one ignores the worldwide ruling against this activity.

In 1982 the International Whaling Commission completely outlawed commercial whale hunting. “That applies to all countries that are members of the IWC. Japan, Norway, and Iceland are all members of the IWC,” Perry emphasizes. The Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) also bans the trade in minke meat to protect the species, which isn’t endangered but has experienced a dramatic population dive since whaling began. “There’s concern over whether the hunt is sustainable,” Perry notes. (Norway insists that it is, which explains why it still awards itself an annual catch quota of more than 1000 whales, one the IWC doesn’t acknowledge.)

When the international moratorium came into force in the 80s, Norway objected to it, which afforded the country a legal loophole that allows it to continue the hunt while maintaining its IWC membership. Norway, Iceland, and Japan also reject the CITES ban, a move that technically permits them to continue with the trade. “From our perspective Norway should be abiding by those treaties,” Perry says.

Until that happens, it seems like pesticide contamination is the whales’ best defence—though it’s also bound to harm the whales. The chemicals identified in the minkes’ meat are agriculture products that would most likely have entered the ocean via agricultural run-off. Some of the pesticides, like dieldrin and chlordane, have been banned in the European Union and the United States because of their toxic effects. Because they’re persistent pollutants, however, they’ve lingered in the ocean. By entering the food chain and bioaccumulating within it, the chemicals eventually find their way into the bodies of larger mammals like whales. “If we think it’s potentially dangerous for us to eat, you can imagine it’s not particularly healthy for a whale,” Perry says.

As Norway’s appetite for the meat dwindles, it continues to pursue markets elsewhere for its whales. But that may grow more challenging, especially since the recent meat scare isn’t the first the country has caused. In fact, in the past, shipments of Norwegian whale meat have been found to be infested with bacteria and also to contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury.

Within Norway, there are ongoing efforts to try and revive the meat’s appeal, and there are even generous government subsidies in place to try and support the industry and keep this historical practice alive. “It is clear, however, that without an export market, the Norwegian whaling industry will continue to struggle,” O’Connell says.

In that sense, perhaps for whales the pesticides are a morbid kind of defence against the minority that still has a taste for their meat.

Japan whaling ships return home from Antarctic with no catch: here.

The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified glyphosate as a carcinogen last week. The agency cited “convincing evidence” that the herbicide produces cancer in lab animals and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans: here.

Japanese whaling stops, temporarily

This video is called Close Encounter with Minke Whale in Antarctica.

From Wildlife Extra:

Reduced Japanese whaling fleet departs to conduct scientific studies

A smaller than usual Japanese whaling fleet recently left port in Shimonoseki to carry out research in the Antarctic – but no whales will be harpooned after the World Court ruled last year that Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean was illegal.

Japan’s Fisheries Agency announced that a reduced number of boats will instead head to the Antarctic to carry out sighting surveys, biopsy work and photo identification of whales led by the country’s Institute of Cetacean Research.

Two catcher boats, without their harpoons, departed first and will be joined by Japan’s factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, which sets off on 16 January, for the non-lethal research which is expected to last until 28 March.

An International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in March 2014 ensured that for the first season in more than a century, whales in the Southern hemisphere were not be hunted for commercial purposes.

However, despite its initial vow to abide by the ICJ decision, and current moves to carry out non-lethal research, in November last year the Japanese government revealed details of a new proposal, called NEWREP-A, which would see 333 minke whales harpooned in the name of science in the Southern Ocean from later this year. Conservation organisations have urged Japan to withdraw this proposal.

Patrick Ramage, Global Whale Programme Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, says: “While we congratulate Japan on its shift towards humane, non-lethal research on whales and welcome the fact that no whales will be slaughtered in the Southern Ocean this season, sadly Japan has not discarded its harpoons for good.

“Japan’s new whaling plan fails utterly to meet the standard established by the World Court or to live up to the earlier rhetoric of Japanese officials. Japan needs to acknowledge that its cruel and unnecessary whaling must stop once and for all.”

Japan’s new whaling plans are set to be examined by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) when it meets in San Diego in the US in May. The IWC strongly backed the ICJ ruling when member countries met in Slovenia in September.

Stop Japanese whale killing

This video is called The Killer Whale Biology Documentary.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Japan’s slaughter of whales must end

Friday 3rd October 2014

Despite a United Nations Court of Justice ruling earlier this year Japan just won’t stop murdering whales, says PETER FROST

Many of us believed our worldwide campaign to stop the bloody slaughter of some of our largest and most intelligent ocean creatures had secured a major victory earlier this year.

I was delighted to report the victory in this very column when the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the Japanese government should immediately stop the slaughter of whales in Antarctic waters.

The UN court declared that, despite long-term claims from Toyko that the hunt was for scientific purposes, the true purpose was the commercial harvesting of whale meat for food and thus illegal under the 1986 International Moratorium on Whaling of which Japan is a signatory.

We believed the Japanese when they told the world they would, albeit reluctantly, abide by the court’s decision.

Quite simply they lied. They had no intention to stop whaling, rather they planned to slink away and come up with a duplicitous plan to continue the bloody slaughter in some underhand way.

Now Japan has revealed its new plans to bypass the UN ban and to try to confuse world opinion with a new, scaled-down scientific programme that limits its catch only to minke whales.

Japan argues that minke whales and a number of other species are plentiful and that its whale-hunting activities are sustainable. Very few real marine mammal experts agree with that view.

Having said they would abide by the UN court’s ruling in March, Japanese officials are poised to submit a revised programme to the IWC’s scientific committee next month.

Since 2005 Japan has slaughtered some 3,600 minke whales. Only tiny tissue samples go to laboratories. Most of the meat ended up in expensive Japanese restaurants and sushi bars.

Even more appallingly some whale meat is made into expensive chewing toys for Japan’s many pampered lap dogs.

The Japanese whalers didn’t give in easily either in court or in the oceans.

It took direct action by organisations like Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd who harassed the Japanese fleet in international waters with heroic actions that saw volunteers putting themselves between the Japanese harpooners and the whales.

These actions played a massive part in winning world opinion to opposing the Japanese whaling deceit and its so-called scientific research claims.

The Australian government took Japan to the world court and its legal argument was simple. Japan’s slaughter had nothing to do with environmental research and was commercial whaling in disguise.

UN Judge Peter Tomka agreed and ordered that Japan should withdraw all permits and licences for its whaling ships in the Antarctic and not issue any new ones.

In fact Japan had signed up to the international moratorium on whaling in 1986 but continued whaling in the north and south Pacific hiding under the dubious excuse of provisions that allowed for limited scientific research.

Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands — an autonomous country within Denmark — rejected the moratorium and continued commercial whaling. They still do today.

In 2012 South Korea announced it would follow Japan’s lead and start scientific whaling again. A huge worldwide campaign forced South Korea to change its mind.

In Japan the meat from the slaughtered whales is sold commercially despite more and more Japanese finding the slaughter and the consumption of whale meat unacceptable.

Any attempt by Japan to relaunch its Antarctic hunt will meet with strong opposition from Australia and New Zealand and many other countries.

Japan’s fleet could be sailing in Antarctic waters by the end of next year. If it does Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace must harass them and stop their murderous efforts.

The weight of world opinion is against Japan but that has never stopped it in the past. Let us make 2014 the year that ends Japanese whaling forever.

Whale news, good and bad

This video is about whales.

From Wildlife Extra:

Victory and defeat for whales at the 65th International Whaling Conference

Sperm whales were one of the whale species that Japan was previously able to kill on the grounds of scientific research in the Antarctic

The 65th International Whaling Conference meeting in Portoroz, Slovenia – which saw the attendance of more than 60 member countries – was something of an emotional roller-coaster for those involved, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), with victory and defeat on both sides of the table.

Pivotal milestones were achieved toward the conservation and preservation of whales, with a resolution being passed to provide increased protection and support to whales, and a further ruling that Japan’s ‘scientific whaling’ in Antarctica was illegal, with no further permits to be issued in the future.

The resolution by Monaco on Highly Migratory Species aims to provide greater global protection for whales, allowing international bodies such as the UN to become involved. This victory was made despite pro-whaling countries opposing it. Japan prevented the resolution being passed by consensus, forcing a vote to take place, which went through 37 to 15, with seven abstentions.

IFAW Whales Programme Director Patrick Ramage said: “We are delighted that this important conservation measure for whales has been passed, showing that small countries can make big waves for whales at the IWC. We were pleased to see the pro-conservation countries stand together to adopt a common position and give it safe passage. We were also relieved to see that the EU was able to get its act together and support it as a bloc.”

There was further victory for whales as Japan’s so-called scientific whaling in Antarctica was ruled illegal, with no further permits to be issued. This news was of course not welcomed by Japan, who recently sent an email out to scientists around the world asking for international help to review its plans for a new ‘scientific whaling’ programme.

Ramage commented on the result, saying: “We are delighted by this crucial victory for whales. After the recent historic World Court ruling it begged the question of whether the IWC would be up to the challenge of imposing court-ordered standards for scientific whaling or content to stand on the sidelines while Japan continued commercial whaling by another name.

“This measure goes a long way in securing the full promise of the ICJ judgment which gives whales in Antarctica protection against slaughter for the first time in more than a century. We now urge Japan to call a permanent end to its illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean.”

Although the two victories were greatly welcomed by IFAW and pro-conservationists, there was dismay as plans for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary failed due to opposition from pro-whaling nations.

The proposal – which was put forward by Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and South Africa, and new sponsor Gabon – aimed to provide a comprehensive approach to cetacean conservation, managing all threats to whales in the region.

After the resolution was pushed to vote by pro-whaling countries, it failed to achieve the three-quarters majority needed for adoption (40-18 against and two abstentions).

A proposal for this sanctuary has been tabled at nearly every IWC meeting since 1999, but has stalled every time. A small consolation is that this year was the closest that a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary had come to adoption, according to the Brazilian Commissioner.

“This valuable conservation proposal has sadly failed once again because of the influence of countries outside the relevant South Atlantic region,” said Ramage. “Non-lethal research on whales in this particular area, as elsewhere, has provided much more reliable and precise information than has ever been achieved by so-called ‘scientific whaling’ or other lethal methods.

“It is very disappointing that such a positive opportunity for whales has been harpooned again by Japan and her allies.”

Whaling conference in Slovenia, 15 September

This video is called Killer Whales | Deadly But Social and Smart | Documentary.

From Wildlife Extra:

International Whaling Commission to meet in Slovenia on 15 September

The 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will begin on 15 September in Portoroz, Slovenia.

Pro-conservation countries and organisations are once again preparing to take on Japan and other pro-whaling nations.

The fight will be over the integrity of the global commercial whaling moratorium that has spared tens of thousands of whales from the harpoon since 1982.

Top priorities for organisations such the Humane Society International (HIS) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) include urging whale-friendly governments to increase pressure for stronger protection for whales and turn back efforts to dilute the worldwide commercial whaling moratorium.

Encouragement will also be given to the IWC Commissioners to take all necessary steps to prevent Japan from further whaling in light of the International Court of Justice’s March 2014 judgment that Japan’s Antarctic whaling did not qualify as scientific research and thus undermined the moratorium.

There is also opposition to Japan’s attempts to create a new category of coastal whaling and Greenland’s proposal to expand aboriginal (subsistence) whaling, both of which would allow commercial sale of whale meat and similarly threaten to undermine the moratorium.

HSI Vice President Kitty Block said: “This year we intend to press all of the nations whose citizens care about whales to exert strong leadership in halting the spread of new whaling proposals.

“We will challenge IWC Commissioners to adopt an agenda that extends beyond whaling to the broader range of threats that imperil whales throughout our oceans.”

Marine conservation writing competition for young people

This video is called Earthrace – R.I.P – Tribute.

From Wildlife Extra:

Conservationist Pete Bethune launches a writing competition for young people

New Zealander, Pete Bethune, founder of marine conservation organisation, Earthrace, has set a challenge for all young ocean activists around the world.

His aim is to encourage a growing network of children and young people from around the world who care about preserving and protecting the oceans by launching a writing competition.

First prize is a model remote control replica of Pete’s Earthrace boat which broke the round the world speed record in 2008 but was sunk by Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 2010.

Apart from being a world-record holder for the fastest trip around the world in a powerboat, Pete has become a passionate supporter of marine life conservation as a result of his experiences on that trip. He is the author of two best-selling books, one of which, Whale Warrior, covers his time in Antarctica.

Pete is also the founder of the Earthrace Junior Activists Club, which began in 2008 and is run by Earthrace volunteers Alison Banks, Natalie Borghardt and Junior Activist Captain, 17-year-old Zach Affolter.

There are now over 1,200 young members who all share a passion to help protect the oceans and marine life.

“I can tell from the many letters, emails and messages that I receive from children and young people all over the world that they are as concerned about the state of the oceans as I am,” Pete said. “I hope this challenge will encourage many more young people to really think about what the oceans mean to them and to take actions to help protect them.

“Their words will inspire others of all ages to follow their lead and begin to understand how important marine life and the environment are for all us, whether or not we live near the ocean or not.”

The competition

Pete is asking anyone up to the age of 18 to submit an essay or short story of no more than 500 words based on ‘what the oceans mean to me’.

There are four age categories for the ocean writing challenge: Under 10; 10-12 years, 13-15 years; and 16-18 years.

As well as the main prize of the Earthrace remote control boat, there are more prizes to be won in the shape of a remote control shark, signed copies of Pete’s book Whale Warrior, Junior Activist t-shirts, caps, bumper stickers, signed posters, plush Maui’s dolphin toys and wristbands.

Entries should be sent by email to by the closing date of 31 August 2014.

All entries must include the name of the author, age, email address and mailing address.

All winners will be notified no more than one month after the closing date and the winning entries will be posted on the Earthrace Junior Activist Facebook page and published in a future issue of the Earthrace online magazine, Our Backyard.For more information visit the Earthrace Junior Activists Club page at