16 June 2005
Harpooned whale is riddled with gunfire and lives on for at least 14 minutes
Dramatic new undercover footage of whale hunting released today, dispels the
myth promoted by pro-whaling countries like Norway that whales are hunted and
killed within two minutes of being harpooned.
The explosive footage, believed to be the first of its kind filmed by an NGO
for over a decade, was filmed off the coast of Vardo, Norway, last month by investigators
from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Environmental
Investigation Agency (EIA). The investigators followed the licensed Norwegian
whaling ship, ''Wilson Senior' and obtained footage of a minke whale being hunted
and eventually killed over a two hour period.
Investigators witnessed the whale being hit by a grenade-tipped harpoon, then
repeatedly resurfacing and splashing frantically before it finally died at least
14 minutes later. During this time, the whale was shot with a rifle seven times.
It continued to live on for seven times longer than the average 'time to death'
of approximately two minutes that whalers currently admit to.
Leah Garcés, WSPA's Campaigns Director, said, "This footage is further proof,
as if any were necessary, that there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea
and that all commercial and scientific whaling should cease on grounds of cruelty
EIA Director Jennifer Lonsdale, commented, "Our investigators have exposed the
dirty truth behind so-called modern whaling, where an animal can suffer being
hunted and killed over a two hour period during which time it is wounded and
then repeatedly shot."
This hard-hitting footage has come to light just days before governments will
decide on the future of the world's whales during the 2005 meeting of the International
Whaling Commission (IWC) taking place in Ulsan, South Korea, next week.
WSPA and EIA are members of Whalewatch, a coalition of over 140 non-governmental
organisations in more than 55 countries lobbying the IWC to stop all commercial
and scientific whaling. Whalers will kill approximately 1,500 whales this year,
taking the total death toll to over 25,000 since a ban on commercial whaling
came into force in 1986.
For broadcast footage, colour photographs and/or interviews, contact:
Ashley Misplon, EIA 0207 354 7984
Jonathan Owen/Sarah Pickering, WSPA 0207 587 5000 (mobile 07801 386670)
Communications & Press Coordinator
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
62/63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
+44 207 354 7984 direct line
+44 20 7354 7960 telephone
+44 20 7354 7961 fax
EIA is an independent, international campaigning organisation committed to investigating
and exposing environmental crime.