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?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
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

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral