`Turn Keiko into meatballs'
Tuesday 15 September 1998
Spending millions of dollars on preparing Keiko for return to the ocean is "a lunatic waste of money", according to Steinar Bastesen, former head of the Norwegian whalers' association. Instead, the four-ton orca, who last week was flown from Oregon in the US to a huge sea-pen in the Vestmann Islands off Iceland, should be turned into food aid, Mr Bastesen reckons. Keiko's carcass, he thinks, would yield about 60,000 meatballs, which could be sent to the starving children of Sudan.
The 53-year-old independent MP, the only one in Norway's parliament, represents the Lofoten Islands, the country's whaling area. He has been whaling since he was eight and still hunts minke whales in the summer.
"There are more than enough killer whales around - we don't need to import them," he said. "Anyway, the only good killer whale is a dead one."
His views were not appreciated by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, the British group that has been supporting the efforts of the Free Willy/Keiko Foundation to bring about the first successful return of a captive orca to the wild. "I don't think it's a particularly constructive comment," said its campaigns co-ordinator, Fran Clarke.
Keiko's return to the ocean from a Mexican aquarium has so far cost about $12.5m (pounds 7.5m). Last week he was flown to Iceland, where he was captured in 1979, from the site of his initial "convalescence" in a tank in Newport, Oregon.
The new home is another and bigger tank, 76 metres by 30 and open to the sea.
Already, Keiko has been seen vocalising with a pilot whale visitor, and chasing fish. However, it may be months before he is ready for full release, if at all.
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...