BRUSSELS: A coalition of animal welfare and conservation groups has launched a new online ad campaign to coincide with the 2015 Seafood Exposition Global and Seafood Processing Global convention in Brussels this week, advising consumers and major seafood buyers to be aware of fish “tainted by the blood of whales”.
Among exhibitors at the Seafood Expo Global are several companies that process and/or sell whale meat, or are tied by shareholdings to whaling companies, including Icelandic seafood giant HB Grandi.
“Opinion polls in Europe have shown that more than 80 per cent of the public do not wish to buy seafood from companies associated with whaling,” said Susan Millward, Executive Director of the Animal Welfare Institute.
Jennifer Lonsdale, Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, added: “Kristján Loftsson, CEO of the Hvalur whaling company, is the driving force behind Iceland’s fin whaling industry which has killed 551 endangered fin whales since 2006.
“It is disappointing that HB Grandi shareholders missed an opportunity earlier this month to distance the company from whaling when they re-elected Loftsson as Chairman of the Board.”
Sigrid Lueber, Founder and President of OceanCare, urged seafood buyers at the Expo who have not yet joined the dozens of companies which have already pledged not to buy from whalers to “keep in mind that by putting money into the pockets of whalers you are helping to keep alive an industry that is both cruel and unnecessary.”
Vanessa Williams-Grey, Whaling Campaigner at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said: “We ask those companies or consumers reluctant to look for an alternative to HB Grandi products to remember the suffering of the whales. They have no choice – you do.”
Seafood Expo Global runs from April 21-23, 2015 and is expected to attract 30,000 participants from 140 countries.
The coalition is encouraging retailers to conduct an audit of their seafood supply chains to ensure the public they do not source seafood from individuals, vessels or companies linked to whaling – including fish from third party agents and/or processors.