Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Olympics Puts Icelandic Seafood On Ice

The first gold medal of the Olympics has already been won, before the Games have even begun!
UK group the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Soc.(WDCS) has stopped food, from an Icelandic company with links to whaling, being sold at this year’s Olympics.
WDCS has had HB Grandi (one of Iceland's largest seafood companies with strong links to whaling) banned from supplying seafood to the 2012 London Olympics.
David Stubbs, head of sustainability for the Games, confirms that seafood for athletes, staff and the public has no links with HB Grandi.
Kristjan Loftsson, the president of Iceland’s only fin whaling company Hvalur, also sits on the board of HB Grandi. These two companies could not be cosier: Hvalur uses HB Grandi facilities to process fin whale products, and the two companies share information on the location of fish. More than half of HB Grandi fish exports go directly to the UK and the rest of Europe.
WDCS, concerned about the link between the two firms, has spent the last two years campaigning in the UK for the removal of the company's products from supermarkets and fishmongers. You may recall in 2011, UK seafood supplier Findus marked HB Grandi goods unacceptable across its entire supply chain. Not surprisingly, there is no mention of either ban on HB Grandi's website!
Hvalur has an annual quota of 150-170 fin whales and, in recent years, has exported almost 2,000 tonnes of whale meat to Japan, cynically creating a lucrative export market for this endangered species. Although Loftsson recently announced an end to the killing of fin, his ships continue to commercially hunt minke whales.
Congratulations to both the WDCS and London 2012, for taking action against the company. If petitions and protest action won't stop these bastards, perhaps loss of income may sink more tangible teeth into their wallet!

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