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Animal conservationists demand a stop to "Dream Ship" (cruise ship) landings on the Faroe Islands due to whale massacres
Hagen (ots) - Unperturbed by warnings and protests from the "Whale and Dolphin Conservation Forum (WDSF)", the German cruise companies AIDA, TUI and Hapag Lloyd still want to stop at the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, even though there is a high risk that passengers may become eye witnesses to cruel, bloody whale and dolphin slaughter just off the landing ports, and could be poisoned in restaurants if they eat the highly contaminated whale meat.
WDSF manager Jürgen Ortmüller recently travelled back to the European group of islands to ascertain this risk. Ortmüller warns: "It is irresponsible and dangerous for cruise liners to offer landings and shore leaves on the Faroe Islands. Last year alone 1,534 marine mammals were brutally slaughtered between July and November on the beaches and in the harbours. In August five specially protected beaked whales were caught and killed. A "Dream Ship" visit was not involved there, but this butchery could make for a traumatic experience for passengers and their children. After the public massacres of pilot whales and other types of dolphins the entire beach and harbour area turned blood-red and the air was filled with a bestial stench of death. The meat from the animals is highly contaminated with methyl mercury and PCBs and is in some cases offered to residents and tourists in restaurants for around 45 Euros and on markets.
AIDAbella and HapagLloyd, with the MS Europa, are scheduled to call at the Faroe Islands in September every year despite the warnings. The TUI visit with My Ship calls at the islands every summer. The AIDA environmental representative Monika Griefahn, formerly a Greenpeace officer and Minister of the Environment for Lower Saxony, wrote a letter as early as last year, in a WDSF publication, to the Faroese Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen asking him to stop the whale catch and alternatively offer whale watching tours. The chairman of HapagLloyd cruises, Karl J. Pojer, repeated this demand in a letter of August, 25, 2014 to the Prime Minister following the WDSF protests. However, following the AIDA appeal the massacres of pilot whales and dolphins have continued unabated.
The attitude of the cruise liners is incomprehensible to the WDSF. The animal conservation organisation is now calling for a boycott and demonstration against AIDA, TUI and HapagLloyd. Ortmüller: "If supposedly environmentally aware companies are still promoting the infrastructure and thus indirectly the killing of the marine mammals by allowing thousands of passengers to go ashore when calling at the Faroe Islands, putting them at risk, these irresponsible cruise operators must be stopped. If they still do not come to their senses we will organise demonstrates against this outrage not only in front of the central offices of the companies but also in front of the private homes of the managers by legal law".
In statements by AIDA and HapagLloyd to the WDSF they allege that the companies do not offer whale meat on board their ships and that they would warn their passengers against eating it ashore. However, they do not want to waive their scheduled landings.
The WDSF has not yet received a reply from TUI Cruises to its letter of protest. The German TUI Group, co-owner of TUI Cruise, has only recently agreed with WDSF, in the interests of animal conservation, to stop offering dolphin-and orcashows worldwide.
There is much harsh criticism on the Facebook pages of the cruise liners. Hapag Lloyd immediately removed its page from the Internet and critical users and the WDSF manager blocked the AIDA Facebook page. The WDSF itself reached over 40,000 users with its call for protests.
Homepage about WDSF, Cruises and Faroe Islands: http://ots.de/8H8ic
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Wal- und Delfinschutz-Forum (WDSF)
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