SEA LIFE, part of the Merlin group of companies has joined with WDCS to end commercial whaling once and for all. And if you don't think that working with such corporate bodies achieves anything, take a look at what we have been doing with Waitrose and M&S in the UK.
In 2007, WDCS started a campaign encouraging the British public to urge supermarkets not to buy fish from companies that are connected, directly or indirectly, to whaling in Iceland. We provided a detailed analysis of the company links between the fisheries industry and whaling companies in Iceland and continue to provide updates to UK supermarkets. So is the campaign having an effect? You can be the judge. On March 24th 2009 Steingrimur Leifsson, director of the fish company Frostfiskur said that their company would be badly affected. The majority of their fish is sold to Waitrose, a high-class supermarket chain in the UK that is particularly aware of environmental issues and has high standards about where its food comes from. "A few weeks ago, soon after the outgoing fisheries minister, Einar K. Gudfinnsson, made his decision about commercial whaling, we received a letter from Waitrose saying that they would stop buying fish from Iceland if commercial whaling goes ahead," says Leifsson. "This is particularly bad for us, as we send out fresh cod and haddock daily to them, and get a good price for it. We have 130 people working for the company, and their jobs are at stake."
On March 27 Bloomberg reported that Iceland will seek to ban commercial
whaling as early as next year as the government aims to reverse a five-year hunting approval granted by the former administration, the Icelandic Fisheries Minister said. Whilst this is not an end to whaling in Iceland as the report goes onto say that they may well still allow coastal whaling (thanks Dr Hogarth ) it does show what can be achieved.
So working with SEA LIFE we shall be taking the fight into Europe and the USA. Lets see what we can achieve together