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STATEMENT: Captain Paul Watson Foundation Stops Killing of Endangered Fin Whales in Iceland

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STATEMENT: Captain Paul Watson Foundation Stops Killing of Endangered Fin Whales in Iceland

(Information sent by the signatory company)

Operation Ice Storm will head north from the UK in early June on the former Scottish fisheries protection vessel towards the high seas confrontation with the last fin whaling company in Europe

MEDIA

ALBERT DOCK, HULL, England, April 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Captain Paul Watson Foundation has launched Operation Ice Storm from Albert Dock in Yorkshire to directly oppose Iceland's last whaling company, Hvalur hf. Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace and founder of Sea Shepherd, has a history of intervening in Icelandic whaling operations: in 1986, members of his group successfully halved the Hvalur hf whaling fleet.

"Time is up for the world's most famous whale hunter, Kristján Loftsson," said Captain Paul Watson, who will lead this summer's anti-whaling campaign on his flagship, the John Paul DeJoria, a former ship. 72 meter Scottish fishing protection line.

Kristjan Loftsson operates Hvalur hf at a loss. The whaler's business empire includes large stakes in banks and IT companies and the tycoon uses his wealth to hunt up to 209 fin whales each season. Fin whales are protected under international conservation law and are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Despite widespread opposition from the Icelandic public (a recent poll suggests that more than 51% of Icelanders oppose whaling) and the Icelandic Fisheries Minister temporarily revoking Hvalur's whaling license hf Last summer, Iceland's whaling chief continued to leverage his political influence in pursuit of resuming whaling operations. Loftsson plans to deploy two ships armed with explosive harpoons, the Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9, in June.

"Our volunteer crew members are making the necessary preparations to leave the United Kingdom in June. From our point of view, Loftsson plans to go whaling this summer and we will be ready," said Captain Locky MacLean, who sailed on the John Paul DeJoria to the coast of Iceland last summer to intercept Hvalur vessels when licenses were suspended.

In 2023, the US-based Captain Paul Watson Foundation and its British affiliate, CPWF UK, worked together on land and sea in "Operation Paiakan", during which Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandis Svavarsdottir issued a temporary pause in whaling permits while the John Paul DeJoria was off the west coast of Iceland, ready for a confrontation to prevent Hvalur hf ships from hunting fin whales. This summer, CPWF's flagship will set sail in mid-June from Hull, UK, to blockade Loftsson's harpoon ships if permits are granted.

CPWF UK's Rob Read, who has been running a land-based operation in Iceland every summer for several years and documenting the whale processing factory at Hvalfjörður since 2018, explained: "Whaling is the calculated, intentional and cruel killing "One of the most intelligent marine species on the planet. As mammals, whales are a key species that has proven to be essential not only to saving the oceans but, ultimately, all life on Earth."

Last May, the Food and Veterinary Authority of Iceland (MAST) alleged that Hvalur hf violated Iceland's animal welfare laws. They cited cases of multiple fin whales not dying instantly during the hunt and a mean time to death of 11.5 minutes. Iceland, along with Japan and Norway, remains one of the last nations to engage in commercial whaling, defying the global moratorium imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986.

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ABOUT CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON FOUNDATION: The Captain Paul Foundation, founded in 2022 by esteemed environmental activist and conservationist Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace and founder of Sea Shepherd, along with technology entrepreneur Omar Todd, is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in the United States dedicated to marine conservation. Committed to stopping habitat destruction and the killing of wildlife in the world's oceans, the foundation aims to safeguard marine ecosystems and species and uses innovative direct action tactics to expose and confront illegal activities at sea. Visit www.paulwatsonfoundation.org for more information.

ABOUT OPERATION ICE STORM: Operation Ice Storm has a singular goal: saving the lives of the endangered fin whales of Iceland's last whaling company, Hvalur hf. Despite the global ban on commercial whaling imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986, Iceland persists in granting permits for this activity. This joint campaign, launched by the Captain Paul Watson Foundation and its UK affiliate, will employ aggressive non-violent tactics and direct intervention to enforce international conservation laws.

For interviews and media inquiries, please contact Mia Music at press@paulwatsonfoundation.org or Paul Watson at captain@paulwatson.com.

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