In days, two Icelandic ships will leave on a bloody hunt for endangered fin whales and export them to Japan — if we shine a spotlight right now on the role of a Dutch transit port, we can get them to shut down this safe harbour for slaughter and create a major stumbling block for the the bloody trade. Sign now:
In days, two Icelandic ships will set sail to butcher 154 endangered fin whales. Trading these majestic creatures is illegal in most of the world, but the Dutch are turning a blind eye and allowing the meat to be trafficked through the port of Rotterdam! Let’s hold Dutch leaders to account and close this safe harbour for unconscionable whaling.
Despite a global commercial whaling ban, Icelandic tycoon Kristjan Loftsson will shoot harpoons to blow out the brains of these majestic creatures, then chop them into pieces and ship their meat to Japan. But we can break a crucial link between the ocean and the customers — the port of Rotterdam, where these massive carcasses are expected to be transferred. If the environmentally conscious Dutch see that the damage to their reputation isn’t worth the profits of trading with this aging Icelandic whaler, they’ll stop the transit and send the whalers back to the drawing board.
We have just over a week before the whalers start the bloody hunt — let’s make sure Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte refuses safe harbour for the whalers and their bloody cargo. Sign the petition now and send this to everyone who loves whales! When we reach one million signers, we’ll create a massive stunt of fake beached whales on the Rotterdam waterfront that they won’t be able to turn a blind eye to.
Fin whales are magical creatures. They’re the second longest animal in the world (more than 8-stories tall!) and move through the water like lightning. Their incredible combination of sleek, elegant power and speed earned them the nickname “greyhound of the sea”. Just one fin whale can weigh up to 70,000 kgs! And they’re endangered — only about 118,000 are thought to be left in the wild, and annual hunts are threatening their survival.
Hunting fin whales is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the International Whaling Commission, which has helped fin whales come back from the brink of extinction. But not everyone follows the rules. Loftsson has run the only industrial fin whale hunt in recent years, has brazenly sold the meat to Japan and profited from the whaling ban other countries follow.
Stopping the transit in Rotterdam, Europe’s biggest port, would set a precedent that would make it very difficult for Loftsson to ship his meat profitably through any port in Europe. Hamburg and Finish ports have already shunned the whale trade, and stopping it in Rotterdam could be the final step. A massive public outcry globally and in the Netherlands can help tip the balance — sign now and say no to the slaughter of endangered whales:
Avaaz members have achieved tremendous things working together, from opposing the ivory trade to winning a ban on pesticides that were killing record numbers of bees. In 2010, Avaaz members were central to keeping the international moratorium on commercial whaling in tact — let’s stop this horrific hunt now and keep marching toward a more humane world.
Oliver, Pascal, Alaphia, Emily, Alice, David, Ricken and the Avaaz team
PS- Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community. It’s easy to get started – click to start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917
Iceland to resume disputed fin whale hunt in June (Yahoo News)
Ceaseless Pressure on Whales (NYT)
Iceland readying for fin whale hunt (The Daily Telegraph)
For Iceland’s whale king it’s “just another fish” (AFP)
Iceland’s creation of an endangered species trade (Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society)
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