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Posted: July 1st, 2015 By BWM
Activists from the marine conservation group Hard To Port have launched an educational anti-whaling campaign to monitor and expose the country’s whaling activities. As the first fin whale of the season was pulled towards the whaling station for further processing, an activist of the group climbed on top of the carcass. In order to draw attention to
the cruel practice and continued violation of international agreements he set off smoke signals and held up a banner saying ‘#whalerwatching’ – the groups motto of the campaign. “The protagonists of Iceland’s whaling industry care a great deal about maintaining a low public profile. They know what they are hiding and they know that if people find out, the public outcry will be immense. What happens to Icelandic marine wildlife is tragic and not tolerable, so we decided to challenge the whalers and give them the things they are most afraid of: attention and exposure “ says campaign coordinator Arne Feuerhahn. Using state-of-the-art technical equipment, which includes a UAV (‘drone’), the group intends to expose the usually well-hidden whaling operations and to educate the public about the ongoing slaughter of endangered Icelandic wildlife. In 2013 the Icelandic Government reissued whaling quotas for 154 endangered fin whales and 229 minke whales annually. The killing of these whales is in direct violation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling from 1986. Every year Icelandic whalers breach international agreements by hunting these marine mammals and illegally exporting their ‘catch’ overseas.

The ultimate goal of our Whaler Watching campaign is to put an end to the commercial whale hunt in Iceland. It is our firm belief that this cannot be achieved without the help and support of the Icelandic public. Ideally, change will come from within Iceland. The support that we received from many locals for our peaceful protest in 2014 has shown that it is not only foreign governments and animal welfare groups who oppose Iceland’s commercial whale hunt, but that in fact many Icelanders are either critical of or outright opposed to the industrial killing of whales. By connecting with local communities, we want to encourage and support those who share the wish to speak up against this killing and to advocate for a respectful treatment of marine wildlife in Iceland. Many Icelanders do care about the plight of these animals, and we look forward to building strong alliances with people who want to become active and help us put pressure on the government and the whaling industry.

Iceland kills first Fin Whale

As an organization dedicated to the protection of some of nature’s most vulnerable creatures, we intend to build on the victories that other organizations have scored in recent years in the fight against commercial whaling. With our Whaler Watching Campaign we are following what we believe is the most promising approach to ending the commercial whale hunt. At the same time we at Hard to Port believe that there is strength not only in numbers but also in diversity, and that a plurality of campaigns and tactics will increase the movement’s impact. We therefore want to express our full support for and solidarity with any person or organization who actively opposes this annual carnage of marine wildlife. We are happy to contribute our expertise and manpower to the realization of the common goal of protecting these amazing animals.

Whale Watchers

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