Saturday, August 6, 2011

Visit Iceland. See Whales. Eat Them.

I'll never forget my first whale-watching experience...
seeing the power and grace of a bull sperm whale, while also being seasick over the side (but that’s another story!).
Eco-tourism helps us reconnect with nature and remember why we care so much about preserving it, but tourism can also impact on the very creatures we aspire to save.
In Iceland, a whale tour's been launched to help visitors really get their teeth into the subject - LITERALLY! Whale Watching With Whalers is a 4hr blood-lust tour allowing tourists to watch minke whales being harpooned and then sample grilled whale afterwards! The site trumpets:
- be on a whaling wessel (sic)
- see and hear shot from our harpoon
- taste our grilled and raw whalemeat
- see minke whale and other commonly seen whales
- see our showroom, witch (sic) takes you through the history of whaling in Iceland
- see internal organs of the minke whale
- expert live guides
The idea that anyone would want to see such a gruesome, painful, bloody travesty is mind-boggling! What's worse, whale meat is appearing on more and more plates in Iceland: over 100 restaurants now serve it. Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) believes tourists are propping up the commercial whaling industry: “It's probably just one of those things they 'have to try’ while they're over there... the irony is that fewer and fewer residents of the country eat whale meat now.” WDCS says 35-40% is eaten by tourists! Much of the rest is exported to Japan.
So? I don't give a SHIT!
The Icelandic whaling industry is essentially the domain of just one man, Kristjan Loftsson, the fisheries magnate who drives his country’s whaling policy and tries to resuscitate international trade in whale products. One man, responsible for killing hundreds of whales…yet because he's allowed to continue his vile trade, the entire populous of Iceland is tainted.
Last month, US Secretary of Commerce recommended trade sanctions be imposed on Iceland over its commercial whaling. Is Iceland happy to suffer this...for one man?

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