April 2, 2010

Greenpeace Activists Block Whale Meat Shipment

Greenpeace environmental activists successfully blocked a shipment of whale meat to Japan this morning by chaining themselves to the mooring ropes of a cargo ship in the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

According to various media reports, a group of 15 Greenpeace protesters boarded the NYK Orion at 4:30am. The ship, which sported a Panamanian flag, was reportedly carrying seven containers filled with whale meat from Iceland--one of just two countries in the world that permits commercial whaling.

Members of the environmental advocacy group updated their efforts via a live blog. In one update, they confirm that Dutch police were investigating the allegations. Containers from the freighter were later unloaded, and while some Greenpeace activists were reportedly arrested, the ship's owner eventually decided to abandon the containers at the Rotterdam port.

"Success!!! The owner of the ship has decided to leave the containers behind rather than participate in the trade of endangered species," the most recent update on the group's live blog stated. "Thanks to everyone for their support, kind words and re-Tweets! What a great start for Easter weekend!"

"We will stay here for as long as necessary," protest organizer Pavel Klinckhamers had told AFP prior to the latest development, "until we are sure that the containers carrying the whale meat are not going to leave for Japan."

A Rotterdam police spokesman told AFP that the ship was due to leave port at 6:00pm.

"Today Greenpeace was able just in time to prevent this shipment of whale meat from continuing, such action should no longer be necessary," Klinckhamers said in an online statement. "The Dutch authorities must ensure that whale meat never again comes to the Rotterdam harbor. They must work to end the whale meat trade."


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