Saturday, April 14, 2012

No Whale On Trade Me Menu

An auction of whale meat was pulled from Trade Me this week.
On-line, the seller "gudbloke2" (who allegedly bought the canned meat at a Japanese dairy) said the blue tin was likely to contain minke whale. He said he hadn't tasted whale meat himself: "Only tried whale skin. That was pretty average."
Trade Me said the auction started on Tuesday, and was removed Wednesday evening after a complaint. It advised the seller he'd "breached our listing rules which specifically ban the sale of 'snails, whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, sea lions or indigenous birds, or parts thereof'." The Conservation Department was notified about the attempted sale. Anti-whaling group Project Jonah put a screen shot on Facebook.
New Zealand has been a member of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) since 1989. This is an international agreement between governments, aiming to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the CITES list has to be authorised through a licensing system - no licence, no bringing it into the country.
It's illegal to import whale meat into NZ. Full stop. And if you're selling something illegal, then you'd have to be an idiot to do so on Trade Me: it's a transparent marketplace - everyone can see what you're up to, and there's a trail of electronic information left. So it's plainly obvious that "gudbloke2" is a prize plonker, for not realising - in this pro-conservation country - that either this attempted sale (a) would get him into trouble, or (b) was illegal.
I hope they do more than spank him mercilessly with a wet bus ticket! But the question must also be asked: how did he manage to get the can of whale meat into NZ in the first place?

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