Greenpeace claims a ship carrying 2,000 tonnes of fin whale meat was scared off from Durban Harbour, due in part to their efforts.
South African website Daily News reports that the ship, Alma, is registered in Cyprus but was carrying whale meat from Iceland, on its ways to Japan. Activists were alerted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which led to Greenpeace organising a petition aimed at South African government offices to stop the ship from docking in their country.
[SA Greenpeace spokeswoman Shanaaz] Nel said Greenpeace had been in contact with the Department of Environment Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, appealing to the departments not to let the ship dock.
“South Africa is a signatory to CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora] and they don’t allow trade in whale meat,” she said.
However, Environment Affairs spokesman Zolile Nqayi said yesterday the department had played no role.
“Cites regulations are very clear and none of these was transgressed. There was no request for an import permit here or certificate for introduction from the sea,” Nqayi said.
And fisheries said the vessel had not involved their department either. Spokesman Lionel Adendorf said the Alma was not a fishing vessel, its cargo of whale meat had not been caught in local waters and it had not intended to off-load its cargo at any local port.
“As a result of this, the department did not receive any application for a permit to allow it into our waters or ports,” Adendorf said.
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