Protesters trap Norwegian whaler: Greenpeace members have chained themselves to a ship in protest at a decision to resume whale-hunting

THE NORWEGIAN whaling ship occupied by Greenpeace activists early yesterday remained trapped in the Clyde last night.

The skipper of the Elin Toril had planned to leave at 3pm for the Lofoten Islands, off the coast of Norway, despite the presence of four protesters who had chained themselves to the harpoon gun, the bridge and the crow's nest.

But the whaler was prevented from leaving the upper reaches of the Clyde because seven more Greenpeace supporters manacled themselves to a swing bridge half a mile down river. They are protesting at Norway's unilateral decision to resume commercial whaling next year, despite the current ban on hunting minke whales in the north-east Atlantic.

Greenpeace says the stock of minke whales in the area is depleted and claims that Norway was responsible for killing 100,000 whales in 50 years.

The 65ft (19.8m) Elin Toril came to Stobross Quay to support the Norwegian delegation at this week's International Whaling Commission meeting in Glasgow.

A French proposal for the IWC to make the seas around the Antarctic a whale sanctuary seems unlikely to be put to a vote this week. Japan has been organising a resistance campaign and has the backing of four tiny, fairly poor Caribbean islands, two of which - St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia - have been siding with Japan in the pro-whaling lobby for several years.

But anti-whaling nations and environmental groups have been alarmed by the arrival in Glasgow of delegations from St Kitts and Dominca, two small island states that appear to be supporting Japan. St Kitts has just become a member of the commission, while Dominica rejoined after withdrawing in 1983.

Environmentalists have claimed that the IWC membership fees of the four Caribbean states were being met by Japanese whaling interests, as well as their expenses in sending delegates to Glasgow.

Alan Macnow, whose New York-based public relations company has been retained by the Japanese Whaling Association, said: 'That's sheer nonsense.' The four countries were supporting Japan because the anti-whaling nations which dominate the commission were threatening to broaden its remit to cover small whales and dolphins. The island states hunt these mammals.

The French need a 75 per cent voting majority for the proposal for an Antarctic sanctuary to be turned into a decision. No whaling south of 40 degrees latitude would be permitted, but this is where Japan currently takes 300 minke whales a year in its 'scientific whaling' programme.

Japan, Norway and the four Caribbean states will oppose the sanctuary plan and at least as many other countries are likely to abstain. With only 29 of the 38 IWC member nations attending the Glasgow meeting, the required majority seems unlikely.

Anti-whaling groups are now talking about organising a tourist boycott of the Caribbean islands.

Norway continued to come under fire yesterday over its plans to resume commercial whaling in the north-east Atlantic next year, killing minke whales in defiance of the IWC's four-year moratorium. The minke whales it plans to take are classified as a protected stock.

Fifteen IWC nations, including Britain, expressed their 'deep disappointment' in a statement in Glasgow yesterday and urged Norway to reconsider.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions