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Sealife Campaign Against Whale Meat Traffic

Humpback whale

12:06am 29th June 2014

Sealife in Weymouth is urging visitors to sign a petition to stop the trafficking of whale products through UK and other European ports.

New charity - the Sealife Trust has found a shocking trade in whale products - with dead whale finding its way into cosmetics, dog food and even beer.

As well as signing the petition which they plan to take to the European Parliament, they also want supporters to post video selfies of them "wailing for whales" on social networking sites.

"If we can stop the shipments we can put an end to whaling," said Fiona Smith of Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park: "We hope all our visitors will help by signing our petition and that many will also support the 'wail for whales' initiative."

"Although there's an international moratorium on whaling some countries choose to carry on the slaughter," said the new Sea Life Trust's head of conservation Sarah Taylor.

"Norway, Iceland and Japan are the main offenders, and since there is very little demand for whale meat for human consumption they are trying desperately to establish other markets both for the meat and other products."

They are taking advantage of a loophole which means that while trading in whale products is illegal in the EU, transporting them is not.

"Everyone who signs our petition will be declaring their opposition to this practice, and helping us put pressure on the EU to do something about it," added Ms Taylor.

Once safely out of the EU, the whale products are also being sneaked through other countries,

"Politicians in Canada were shocked to discover in February that meat from fin whales had arrived from Iceland and then been taken across country by train on its way to Japan," said WDC's Chris Vick.

"Smoked whale with blueberry jam was being openly sold at one of the world's biggest food and agricultural fairs in Berlin in January," he added.

"Whale-meat from Iceland had been turned into dog food in Japan and the company behind Iceland's fin-whaling operation even managed to get it used in bottled beer."

The Sea Life Trust has enlisted the aid of the global network of Sea Life centres to raise a petition which will be delivered to the EU, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the IWC (International Whaling Commission).

"It will call for tighter control at borders and ports to stop whale products being admitted," said Sarah Taylor.

It will also be raising funds to help

- Send WDC experts to Iceland to take the campaign to Icelandic government officials.
- Carry out DNA analysis of products suspected of containing whale.
- Hire legal experts to help use EU law to stop transit of whale meat through EU ports.
- Send a team to international meetings to present the 'Whale for Sale' exposé at the highest levels.

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