Iceland seafood firm gets Olympic ban for fishy whaling links

An animal rights group has managed to ensure that no food from an Icelandic company with links to whaling will be sold at this year’s London Olympics. In a press release this week, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) said it has secured an Olympic 2012 ban on HB Grandi. The claims have also now been confirmed by David Stubbs, the head of sustainability for the London event.

Kristjan Loftsson, the president of Iceland’s only fin whaling company Hvalur, also sits on the board of HB Grandi. WDCS is concerned about the link between the two firms, and has spent the last two years campaigning in the UK to see the removal of the company’s products from supermarkets and fishmongers.

“Confirmation that London 2012 is ‘Grandi-free’ could not have come at a more important time,” said WDCS anti-whaling campaigner Vanessa Williams-Grey. “There is evidence that fin whaling – which did not take place last year because of market difficulties – may resume again from June.”

“Hvalur has an annual quota of 150-170 fin whales and, in recent years, has exported almost 2,000 tonnes of whale meat to Japan, cynically creating a lucrative export market for this endangered species. We congratulate London 2012 on its commitment to not buying fish from companies with links to whaling,” Williams-Grey added.