Killing Fin Whales
to be Processed for Dog Treats
Photograph Fin Whale ©Thomas R. Kieckhefer
For over a quarter of a century - since the 1986 moratorium on whaling took effect - Iceland has been illegally whaling. For these many years, Iceland has been disregarding international law, and now it is escalating its illegal killing and trading of endangered fin whales (along with minkes and other whales). Iceland announced that they would be killing up to 184 fin whales, and in June they began by killing and butchering 17 fin whales.
This disturbing news was made by Kristjan Loftsson, an Icelandic millionaire entrepreneur and chairman of Iceland's largest fishing company. Much of the meat from the killed fin whales is expected to be sent to Japan. Some of it will be for human consumption, but most will be earmarked for Japan's growing luxury dog snacks market.
Fin whales were last taken off the coast of Iceland in 2010 when 148 whales were slaughtered. Reasons given for halting whaling in 2011 and 2012 included a decline in the main Japanese market as well as labor disputes in Iceland.
The "quota" that Iceland has set for 2013 is a self-allocated number set by Iceland rather than a number issued by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2013, Iceland has allocated itself a quota of 154 fin whales, and it also allows itself to carry over 20% of any unused quota from the previous year, giving the hunters the potential to kill up to 184 fin whales this season. The fin whale - at 80 feet - is second in size only to the blue whale, the largest animal on the planet. For such a large animal, the streamlined fin whale is an amazingly swift swimmer and often called the "greyhound of the sea."
Copy and paste this Email (add your own words):
Prime Minister of Iceland
Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson
- Iceland is illegally killing whales and defying the 1986 worldwide moratorium on killing whales.
- Iceland set a self-imposed 2013 quota to kill 184 fin whales, an endangered species, and has already killed 17 whales since June.
- Iceland's actions endanger world-wide conservation of an endangered species.
- Using whale meat for dog treats is offensive.
- Whale watching is a thriving business in Iceland. I urge your government to support eco-tourism and help protect these endangered animals.
- I will not support your industries through tourism or by purchasing Icelandic products until whaling stops.
We respectfully ask you to please stop the killing.
(Sign with your name and Email address.)
Email to: Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson
The Central Coast of California
Ancient Whale Fossil Found
Photograph Whale Skeleton ©Jared Chandler
The Central Coast of California is famous for many things: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Big Sur, surfing. Now it has a new claim - recently discovered fossilized whale bones.
Fossilized Whale Bones
The bones were first sighted by surfers during a lower-than-usual low tide at Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, CA. Gary Griggs, director of the University of California Santa Cruz's Institute of Marine Sciences, believes it is most likely an extinct whale from the Pliocene era. The fossilized skeleton is missing its head but is otherwise intact.
It is estimated to be 3 to 5 million years old, a remnant of a shallow sea that once was at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The rocks exposed along the coastline are marine sedimentary rocks of the Pliocene Purisima Formation, about 3-5 million years old.
The bones most likely will not be excavated because of their water location. It is believed that more of the whale will be revealed over time by tidal scour, but experts have asked people to leave the bones as they lie.
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Maris Sidenstecker I
Executive Director, Save The Whales
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization