Greenpeace yesterday called on the UK government to take strong diplomatic action against Norway, following their announcement yesterday that they intend to resume sales of whale blubber and meat to Japan.

The decision by Norway contravenes the international ban on trade in whale products agreed by CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species).

Norway resumed commercial whaling in 1993, despite an international moratorium, but has refused to allow exports until now, insisting that whaling is solely to meet domestic needs for meat. Norwegian whalers have for years pushed to export blubber and other whale products to Japan.

Greenpeace Whale Campaigner Richard Page said,

“Norway is once again showing its contempt for international agreements, by ignoring this internationally agreed trade ban. Britain must take a lead in condemning this action and preventing the resumption of this destructive trade”.

He continued, “Pirate whalers will inevitably take advantage of the cover provided by this trade to smuggle illegal whale meat -from endangered as well as the more abundant species of whale – into Japan, “If all countries followed Norway’s example with respect to CITES, we would have no international control over trading in endangered wildlife whatsoever.”

The International Whaling Commission meet in London this year between 23-27 July.