Nonprofit organization Project Zero this week unveiled a campaign that supports the Icelandic people calling on their government to ban the practice of commercial whaling in the North Atlantic Ocean.
A Public Service Announcement (PSA) is the centerpiece of the campaign, which is titled “Iceland: The Home of Modern Whaling,” and appears to be a “Visit Iceland” spot but soon reveals distressing visuals of endangered fin whales – the second largest animal on Earth – being brutally hunted and killed. The campaign has an urgent timeline and calls for Iceland’s government to stop issuing commercial whaling licenses before the 2024 season.
The launch of the campaign comes off the heels of a bill that was recently submitted to Iceland’s parliament to end commercial whaling in the country. The bill is open to public opinion and will be voted on at a later date. With more than half of Iceland’s population being opposed to whaling, Project Zero’s campaign aims to further emphasize the repercussions this practice has on the ocean.
According to Project Zero CEO Michele Clarke:
“The time is now to put an end to whaling. We stand with the people of Iceland to ban the cruel act of hunting and killing endangered fin whales that serves no purpose. We hope that this campaign encourages others to join us and be a part of this important movement to end whaling in Iceland once and for all.”
Iceland’s whaling fleet — operated by a single organization — has been hunting fin whales. Not only are fin whales endangered, this summer and the summer past saw the killing of pregnant fin whales. Female fin whales don’t reach maturity until they are between 6-12 years old and like males, live 90 years.
Scientists have called large whales “ecosystem engineers.” Research has shown that whales cycle nutrients in the ocean, help to create the oxygen we breathe (every second breath is born in the ocean) and play a critical role in mitigating greenhouse gasses.
For more information, go to weareprojectzero.org to donate to help teams on the ground in Iceland continue to push for a full ban on whaling or check out the video below.