Yesterday the lone fin whaler of Iceland, millionaire Kristjan Loftsson, killed his first out of 180 endangered giants he is planning to harpoon this year. At the moment he is on his way to the harbor in Hvalfjordur with the dead whale strapped to the side of his boat.
It has been three years since mister Loftsson killed a fin whale – the second largest animal on earth. He will slowly export the whale meat to Japan - some of which is used for dog food - since there is no appetite for fin whale meat in Iceland. The transit port of the bloody cargo is Rotterdam harbor.
Mister Loftsson claims that hunting endangered whales is part of the Icelandic identity. I doubt it, but this is not to me to judge.
Being Dutch I can say that loving whales has become part of the Dutch identity.
Last winter, a 20 ton humpback whale stranded on the Dutch coast and the whole country prayed for its rescue.
In headlines, live feeds, and prime time broadcasting every little move of the rescue team and whale were followed.
After days of tireless efforts, the minister personally brought the heartbreaking news that the animal, named Johannes, was beyond rescue and put to sleep.
The country grieved for days.
The possibility that in the near future, the whale meat of hundreds of fin whales could be transported again through the harbor in Rotterdam is morally unacceptable.
We (and I don’t often say “we”, because on most issues there are as many opinions as there are people in the Netherlands) do not want this!
We don’t care if this bloody transit cargo is legal or not, we simply do not want it within our borders.
As a Dutch citizen there is one thing I can do, and that is to call upon my minister to do everything in her power to bring across this message to the responsible people in Iceland.
Makes sense to me that the leader of a whale loving nation speaks out for its citizens.