Russians caught with whale meat
Tuesday 23 May 1995
Its owners have tried and failed to export it to the world's leading whale-eating nation, Japan. Then they began feeding it to mink on fur farms. Now the Russian authorities have decreed that it is not even fit for mink and must be destroyed.
The International Whaling Commission in Cambridge believes the meat came from pirate whaling in the Pacific after the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling came into effect.
Only one species is being legally hunted, using loopholes in the moratorium - the small minke whales taken by Japan and Norway. Analysis of the DNA genetic material in the mystery Russian meat shows it is from Bryde's whale, a larger species found in tropical Pacific waters. The 250 tons represents about 20 adult whales. Documents show the consignment came from Taiwan to Vladivostok two years ago.
A Russian shipping company tried to obtain permission from Japan's fisheries agency to export the meat to Tokyo. It was accompanied by an official certificate of origin saying it had been caught by Russian whalers in 1976, before the moratorium.
On checking, that document turned out to be forged. But even deep frozen meat was unlikely to be fit for human consumption after well over 10 years.
With some pride, the Japanese Government said it was playing strictly by international whale-conservation rules and blocking the import of the meat.
Igor Chestin, the World Wide Fund for Nature's (WWF) man in Moscow, said the passage through Russia was probably an ineffectual attempt to ''launder'' the whale meat.
Japan already holds frozen stocks of eight whale species which, claims the WWF, leaves a serious potential loophole for laundering illegal whale meat.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...
£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...
£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...
£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...