Thursday, April 17, 2014

Secret Whalemeat Delivery

Environmental group Greenpeace says a ship with 2,000 tons of Icelandic whale meat has been scared off from refueling in a South African port.
The group organised a 21,000-signature petition calling on Durban Port and govt depts to not allow the ship Alma to enter the harbour.
Loading Alma in Iceland
The Cypriot-registered freezer ship loaded the largest consignment of whale meat out of Iceland in years, including two species of fin whale, and was en route to Japan.
Greenpeace said boxes with 'frozen whale' written in Japanese were loaded onto Alma last month - the shipment originated with maverick whaler Kristj√°n Loftsson's Icelandic company Hvalur.
Early into its journey, its positioning tracker was switched off. It sailed down the coastline of West Africa - a route familiar to those transporting illegal or dangerous cargo (an easier and shorter way would be to sail through the Suez or Panama canals).
Where is Alma now?
Greenpeace contacted the SA Dept of Environment Affairs and Dept of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, appealing to the depts not to let the ship dock. South Africa is a signatory to Cites and doesn't allow trade in whale meat.
SA's Environment Affairs said however the dept played no role in the matter: "Cites regulations are very clear and none of these was transgressed. There was no request for an import permit here or certificate for introduction from the sea." Fisheries said the vessel had not involved it either, as Alma was not a fishing vessel, its cargo had not been caught locally and it had not intended to offload its cargo at any local port.
Iceland's new quotas allow 229 minke whales and 154 endangered fin whales to be killed annually for the next five years. Fin are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
This shipment will increase Japan's aging whalemeat stack by as much as 25%. When so few eat it, WHY does Japan keep stockpiling it???

UPDATE: 14 May 2014 - Alma has reached Japan.

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