The global business of killing whales and dolphins continues to thrive, and not just in a few countries. A new report issued by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) reveals that that consumption or utilization of whale and dolphin meat and by-products is happening across a shocking number of countries and seems to be unchecked despite a global moratorium.
Since the moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced in 1986, more than 35,000 whales have been killed, along with hundreds of thousands of dolphins and smaller whale species. Over the last few years, WDC has helped to expose:
- the illegal sale of whale meat in Berlin and Copenhagen;
- the use of Icelandic fin whale products in dog food and beer,
- its use to fuel whaling vessels;
- the use of whale oil in skin cream on sale in Russia
- and the use of whale skin to infuse cocktails in an upmarket London bar.
The report, Whale for Sale: The Global Trade in Dead Whales, has documented recent instances of ships carrying whale meat docking in various EU ports. It seems that while all whale and dolphin species are strictly protected under EU legislation and the EU further bans international trade in whale products, it is currently legal for whaling countries such as Iceland, Norway and Japan to trade whale products with each other and to transit these products through EU ports—so long as these products don’t actually pass through customs. Apparently the EU subscribes to the practice of if we don’t see it, it isn’t happening.
This is an unconscionable loophole in CITES regulations, which bans all transit of whale meat and products through EU ports. Looking through the report you’ll see the participation of many of the world’s “civilized” powers are actively involved in this reprehensible practice.
It’s time to put a stop to this horrendous practice. Close the loophole and honor the regulations. t’s also time for the International Whaling Commission to stand up and demand that its rulings be enforced rather than allowing numerous countries to openly circumvent them.