Challenge to Greenland’s whaling claims

An undercover investigation carried out by Ecostorm on behalf of WSPA has found evidence to challenge the myth that Greenland’s whaling is exclusively for aboriginal subsistence purposes.

Greenland is granted a quota of 233 whales annually by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) despite the international commercial ban, because they claim that the whales are needed by aboriginal communities for their own use.

Investigators discovered that some of the whaling is in fact commercial. The inquiry, carried out in April 2008, found supermarket freezers full of whale products, industrial plants for freezing and drying whale meat, and even stock piles of unsold whale meat. At least 114 supermarkets in Greenland carry whale products for retail sale.

Claire Bass, WSPA’s Marine Mammals Programme Manager, said: “Our evidence will blow everyone’s impressions of Greenland’s whaling out of the water; the results have proven that some ‘subsistence whaling’ is no longer providing food critical to indigenous peoples. We’ve traced unacceptable animal suffering back to commercial profit margins.”

Based on the investigation, WSPA estimates that US$1million profit is being made from one quarter or more of the whales that Greenland is allowed to slaughter for subsistence purposes. Consequently, WSPA believes that Greenland’s whaling has crossed the line into commercial whaling.

To watch the investigation film and read the report please see: