Without warning the Icelandic government authorized Icelandic whalers to begin their killing on May 20th in direct defiance of the global moratorium on commercial whaling.
Iceland has rejoined the trinity of whale killing nations along with Japan and Norway. The three rogue whale killing nations have thumbed their noses at the international community to continue a criminal barbaric practice that has been outlawed under international law.
Last year Sea Shepherd's Operation Ragnarok contributed to the decision by Iceland to halt its whaling operations in 2007.
Fuyuhiko via Flickr
Yesterday, Asda Einarsdottir, a spokesperson for Iceland's Ministry of Fisheries reported that 40 Piked whales (Minkes) will be killed. The good news is that they will not be targeting Fin whales.
``Minke sashimi is a quite popular starter in Reykjavik restaurants,'' Einarsdottir said.
Monkey brains are also popular in some Chinese restaurants but that does not make it legal or acceptable.
Photo Credit: Sea Life Surveys
Iceland's contempt for world opinion is underscored by the fact that last year they announced the end to whaling operations, stating that there were no markets for whale meat. This allowed the public to be taken in by a blatant lie.
"That announcement was nothing more than a calculated lie in an attempt to repair damage to Iceland's reputation," said Captain Paul Watson. "The Icelandic whaling industry is a criminal operation supported by government lies and corruption. The civilized world needs to boycott all things Icelandic including tourism, Icelandic sweaters and Icelandic vodka. It's appropriate that Icelandic vodka is labeled "black death." This is a nation that inflicts suffering and death illegally on defenseless sentient beings."
In 2007, The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society undertook "Operation Ragnarok" which included sending our ship Farley Mowat to Iceland to disrupt Icelandic whaling activities.
The voyage was cut short when the ship which had departed from Australia stopped in Bermuda. Iceland had announced that they would end whaling operations which ended the necessity for the Farley Mowat to continue on to Iceland.
Unfortunately the Farley Mowat is under seizure in Eastern Canada and not in a position for us to take it to Iceland immediately. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is looking at a strategic response to Iceland's illegal actions which at this point cannot include direct intervention for practical reasons.
However it appears that the whale war between Iceland and Sea Shepherd has been resurrected and therefore Operation Ragnarok will be resurrected at the first practical opportunity.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is preparing the Steve Irwin to return to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in December 2008 to once again disrupt the illegal Japanese whaling operation.
Captain Paul Watson and a Sea Shepherd delegation will be attending the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in June 2008 in Santiago, Chile.