Victory for the Whales in Iceland
The decision to end whaling in Iceland came about because of the incredible efforts by so many people for so many years. Many organizations in Iceland and around the world have contributed to this special day.
The efforts of Sea Shepherd UK over the years have provided a constant opposition. SS UK volunteers have kept the pressure on Kristjan Loftsson on the ground at his whale meat processing plant, where every single crime Loftsson has committed since 2018 has been documented. A big thank you to Rob Read and his crew. Everyone on the shore crew did an amazing job with intel, reconnaissance and documentation.
Sea Shepherd Iceland, now using the name Sjávarhirðir, has also been working on the ground in Iceland in support of both Sea Shepherd UK and the Captain Paul Watson Foundation. Sea Shepherd France and Sea Shepherd Brazil also contributed greatly to the success of the campaign.
Unfortunately, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and Sea Shepherd Global were opposed to this campaign.
Much appreciation to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) for its excellent report demonstrating how inhumane the whaling is. Much appreciation also goes to Icelandic Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, for making the politically courageous decision to deny permits to Kristjan Loftsson to kill whales this season.
Most importantly, the campaign would not have been possible without the support of John Paul DeJoria’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation.
The crew with the Captain Paul Watson Foundation onboard the John Paul DeJoria made the final push. The Minister announced the ban on whaling just hours after the John Paul DeJoria arrived in Icelandic waters.
The last thing the government of Iceland needed was a major confrontation in their waters over the controversy of illegal whaling.
Our reputation preceded us, and if Loftsson was permitted to go whaling, it would have put us on a collision course with the Icelandic Coast Guard — a confrontation that the Icelandic Coast Guard could not win even if they managed to seize the ship. That’s because win or lose, it would put Iceland on trial over the fact that Loftsson’s whaling ships are a violation of the International Whaling Commission’s global moratorium on whaling.
Based on our reputation, Iceland understood that we were prepared to put our ships, our lives and our freedom on the line. If arrested, we would make the arrest political, and a trial would have been the opportunity to expose Loftsson’s crimes to the world.
The John Paul DeJoria will remain on station in Icelandic waters for a few more days to assess the situation. If the ban holds, the crew will be only a few days away should Kristján Loftsson decide to defy his government.
This is a great victory for endangered fin whales, for marine conservation and for our planet.