Commercial Whaling Opposition - GlobalWe’re shifting the global mindset and protecting whales for the future
Update (24/01/2023): Today the Port of Hafnarfjörður contacted IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and stated they had made a mistake in recording the agent for the ship Silver Copenhagen, that was loaded with 2,500 tonnes of whale meat in Iceland December 2022. The agent was originally shown to be Samskip, the Port now corrected this to be the company ThorShip.
Thorship is owned by the Dutch company Cargow with headquarters in Rotterdam.
The ship carrying the whale meat, the Silver Copenhagen, is owned by the company Silver Sea, which had been purchased by Samskip in 2016. Samskip has now responded to IFAW’s original and subsequent requests for clarification of its involvement stating that the company sold all its shares in Silver Sea later that same year. Samskip has also confirmed that it was not involved with the loading of the ship with whale meat in Iceland. IFAW commends Samskip on maintaining its commitment not to engage in Icelandic whaling operations or the shipment of whale meat.
Conservationists condemn the shipping of 2,576 tonnes of whale meat to Japan from Iceland.
(Hamburg – 20 January 2023) – According to news sources in Iceland, Kristjan Loftsson, the last whaler in Iceland, is shipping 2,576 tonnes of whale meat to Japan.
This has raised questions about the involvement of Samskip - one of the larger European transport companies - in the international shipment of this whale meat. While Samskip has failed to confirm or deny its involvement, Port authorities and other Icelandic sources have confirmed the shipping company was involved in the loading of the vessel. This would be a violation of Samskip's 2013 public promise that it would not transport whale meat in future.
Patrick Ramage, IFAW’s Senior Director, Outreach and Program Collaboration, said: “Kristjan Loftsson is Iceland’s last whaler. He is hell-bent on harpooning endangered whales and resuscitating the international trade in whale meat. That is bad enough. What is surprising here is that Samskip, in violation of its own public commitment, would be facilitating the transaction. Mr. Loftsson’s whaling is bad for whales, bad for Iceland and bad for marine conservation efforts worldwide. We call on Samskip to immediately clarify its involvement and to renew its earlier public commitment not to support the trade in whale meat.”
In 2013, Samskip issued a statement announcing: “For the sake of avoiding any misunderstanding, Samskip confirms that it does not plan to ship whale meat in the future.” The company added that it “would not undertake further shipments of whale meat”.
The statement was issued after a shipment of whale meat en route to Japan from Iceland was met with heavy criticism in Europe. The 2013 shipment was ultimately returned to Iceland after the Ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg requested whale meat not be transported through their harbours. Loftsson’s commercial whaling company, Hvalur hf killed 148 endangered fin whales in 2022. Sadly, three of those could not be landed and were lost at sea.
The whalers of Hvalur hf resumed fin whaling in 2009 and have killed 1,139 fin whales to date. The company did not hunt fin whales, the second largest mammal on earth, in 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Iceland issued five-year quotas for whaling fin whales. The current whaling quota will expire by the end of 2023.
IFAW opposes all commercial whaling as it is inherently cruel; there is no humane way to kill a whale.
For more information or to arrange interviews please contact
Andreas Dinkelmeyer on mobile +49 (1520) 908 2258 or email email@example.com.
Images are available here and on request.