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REYKJAVIK – (AFP) – A shipment of 130 tonnes of fin whale meat has been sent back to Iceland, as jubilant animal rights activists on Sunday highlighted the “pointlessness” of the trade.
Television pictures showed the boat returning to its original port of Reykjavik laden with the meat, followed by a boat chartered by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The boat carrying the meat from 10 whales originally left the Icelandic capital in June before docking in Rotterdam, then Hamburg.
But before its scheduled departure for Japan, the Dutch maritime transporter Samskip announced on July 11 that it had agreed with other carriers not to export the meat and instead send it back to Iceland.
The company also promised not to carry whale meat in future.
Sigursteinn Masson, spokesman for the IFAW in Iceland, said: “No one wants this meat.
“We wanted to make people aware of how pointless the whale hunt is, especially the finback hunt.”
Iceland only resumed the hunting of fin whales this year, the second largest animal on Earth after the blue whale, after suspending whaling in 2011 and 2012, partly because its largest market, Japan, was suffering from an economic downturn.
The International Whaling Commission has banned commercial whaling, but this is not recognised by Iceland.
Japan says it hunts only for scientific purposes.