Pilots and Jet Owners Bypass Iceland for the Whales
The Sky is the Limit for Sea Shepherd's Boycott of Iceland
Participant Productions founder and former eBay President Jeff Skoll won't be setting down in Iceland in a private jet again until Iceland ends its illegal whale hunt. Nor will film producer Bob Yari whose film Crash recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year. John Paul DeJoria, CEO and Co-Founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, has also agreed not to land there.
Iceland is a stopover for many private jets going between North America and Europe.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is asking pilots and owners of private jets to consider by-passing Iceland as a fuel stop until Iceland agrees to stop illegal whaling activities.
The idea to put pressure on Iceland came from Sea Shepherd supporter Jeff Skoll. In a note to Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd's founder and president, he said:
Many private planes refuel in Iceland on their way to Europe. It is a fairly sizeable business for Iceland. I have already notified the authorities in Iceland that I will not be stopping there anymore unless they renounce their new whaling policy and I have been reaching out to others with private planes to do the same."
When Captain Watson asked Bob Yari if he would be interested in helping protect the whales this way, he responded by saying, "I would be happy to, Paul. Not only that, I am very involved with aviation and other jet pilots, and will be promoting that view any chance I get."
Iceland is saying that they are not concerned about a tourist boycott. But world outrage at Iceland's illegal activities has spurred Sea Shepherd to call for a total boycott of Iceland which would include exports of Icelandic fish, sweaters, vodka, and even singer Bjork CD's in addition to tourism.
"People are frustrated at the fact that Iceland can so openly flaunt international conservation law," said Captain Paul Watson. Iceland's Ministry of Fisheries has granted permits to Icelandic whalers for the killing of nine endangered fin whales and 30 piked whales (aka Minke whales).
Iceland is rapidly becoming a pariah amongst civilized Western nations. Not only is whaling a barbaric activity, the targeting of endangered species like the fin whale is a gross violation of international conservation law.
"Whaling has no place in the 21st Century," said retired American Airlines captain Al "Jet" Johnson who serves on the Sea Shepherd Advisory Board. "I have many friends in the airline industry that I will be urging to bypass Iceland as a refueling stop."