If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Environmental Investigation Agency’s (EIA) video “Hunt for the Whalers” is worth millions .
It’s one thing to talk about the brutality of hunting fin whales in the North Atlantic. It is another thing to see the reality of these magnificent animals being dragged from the water into the Icelandic whaling station and butchered right before your eyes. And at the center of this barbarism – caught on camera -- is Kristjian Loftsson, owner of the Icelandic whaling company Hvalur.
Whatever reason for slaughtering these massive whales there may once have been, there is none today. No market for the meat. No legal right to trade. And no legal or moral basis for the senseless destruction of these endangered animals – among the largest on the planet, the so-called greyhound of the sea for their speed, larger than two school busses lined up end to end.
EIA’s film is understated and compelling, with an investigative story-line – tracking the illegally hunted meat from Iceland to the markets of Japan. But nowhere is its impact greater than in the video documenting the modern, 21st century whaling station and the activities of its employees, overseen by Loftsson, as they unload their cargo and wield their knives.
President Obama did the right thing in certifying Iceland for its activities in derogation of the IWC Convention and CITES. That was a necessary first step. But Loftsson has already stated his intention to resume the fin whale hunt next season. As EIA has so graphically documented, none of us can rest until the killing is stopped.
Take action now.