(WHALING) During an undercover investigation, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) found Greenland in violation of the global ban on commercial whaling. They discovered that restaurants were targeting tourists with menus containing whale meat and whale products were made available in supermarkets. Under the terms of the International Whaling Commission’s ban, Greenland is allowed to kill a limited number of whales per year to meet the food needs of local people. However, wildlife campaigners claim the availability of whale meat for tourists demonstrates how Greenland is catching more than necessary. Read on to learn more about how Greenland has taken advantage of their right to sustenance whaling. Remember to sign the petition requesting that Denmark stop slaughtering whales to feed tourists.— Global Animal
Press Association, Guardian.co.uk
Whales caught under rules allowing hunting by local people for their own food needs are being served in dishes for tourists in restaurants, campaigners said today.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) said an undercover investigation in Greenland found restaurants were targeting tourists with menus that included bowhead and other whale meat. Endangered fin whale was among the whale products available for visitors to buy in supermarkets, the WDCS said.
The wildlife campaigners warn selling whale meat to tourists in restaurants and supermarkets undermines the global ban on commercial whaling.
Under the terms of the International Whaling Commission’s ban, Greenland, which is a Danish overseas territory, is allowed to kill a number of whales each year to meet the food needs of local people.
At an IWC meeting in Panama next month, Denmark is set to demand that Greenland can catch more whales to meet the nutritional
requirements of indigenous people. But the campaigners said the availability of whale meat for tourists shows Greenland is catching more than it needs to meet the food requirements of local people and should not be allowed the higher levels of catches that it wants. The proposed increase would include catching up to 19 endangered fin whales a year, which the WDCS says is almost double current levels.
The WDCS chief executive, Chris Butler-Stroud, said: “The Danish government’s claims that Greenland needs to kill more whales for nutritional and cultural needs is laughable. Who is this meat really for? Our investigation report shows that this demand for more whale meat is clearly driven by the commercial consumer market, not by aboriginal needs.”
The research by WDCS and the Animal Welfare Institute found that 24 out of 31 restaurants visited, contacted or researched online offered whale meat to tourists. The groups said that meals available to tourists included whale burgers, buffets with whale meat for cruise ship passengers, whale pasta and Thai and sushi dishes. They said a significant proportion of the estimated 200,000 meals served to tourists in the country each year contained whale meat.
Butler-Stroud said Greenland’s population had grown by just under 10% in the last quarter century but requests for more whales in the same period had increased by 89%. The number of licensed subsistence hunters has almost halved since 1993, he added.
“We believe that this, together with the findings of the WDCS investigation, should result in any request for the killing of even higher numbers of whales by Greenland being rejected and the situation being thoroughly reviewed by the IWC,” he said.