Norwegian whale meat ship stays away from SA coast after petition

2014-04-14 00:00

THE Norwegian cargo ship Alma, with about 2 000 tons of Icelandic fin whale meat on board, has veered away from the South African coast and is now apparently on its way to Japan via Mauritius.

Yesterday afternoon, Shanaaz Nel of Greenpeace said it was “a huge relief”.

“We are very happy the [captain of] the cargo ship decided not to attempt any of South Africa’s harbours. We think the crew got the message that they would not be welcome here and decided to get fuel at another harbour.”

More than 21 000 people, mostly South Africans, had signed an online petition since last Thursday asking the government to deny entry to the ship at any South African port.

Nel said Greenpeace would have tried to take possession of the whale meat.

The hunting of fin whales is illegal as they are seriously endangered.

“We condemn the cargo on the ship,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

Greenpeace said its campaign against the Norwegian ship is not over yet.

“We have made a call to the South African government to put pressure on other African countries to deny the ship entry to their posts.

Greenpeace last year persuaded the port authorities in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Hamburg (Germany) to deny entry to any ship carrying whale meat.

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