High Liner Foods has committed to stop purchasing products sourced from Icelandic companies linked to whaling, reports the Whales Need US (WNUS) coalition.

The announcement from High Liner was issued as Seafood Expo North America, the largest seafood trade event in North America, comes to a close in Boston. Prior to the expo, coalition member organizations wrote to dozens of major U.S. wholesalers and retailers that source Icelandic seafood. The companies were urged to audit their supply chain in order to reassure the public that they are not buying fish from companies linked to whaling, in particular HB Grandi, Iceland’s largest seafood company.

HB Grandi is controlled by the whaling and investment company Hvalur hf., which plans to kill 770 endangered fin whales over the next five years. HB Grandi facilities have been used by Hvalur to cut, process, and pack whale meat for export, Whale Needs US states.

High Liner issued a statement as the expo opened stating that the company is not supportive of any commercial whaling or trade in whale products. High Liner also acknowledged it will not commit to any new contracts with HB Grandi until that company has fully divested its involvement and interest in whaling.

The frozen seafood company made a pledge in November 2010 to source its seafood supply from certified sustainable or responsible fisheries and aquaculture. In February, High Liner announced it had achieved 99 percent of that goal.

“We applaud High Liner for its stance and for recognizing that its customers are very concerned about whaling," says Susan Millward, Animal Welfare Institute executive director. “We hope High Liner will be joined by other U.S. commercial seafood interests to show the whalers that their products are not welcome here.”

Adds Elizabeth Hogan, U.S. Oceans and Wildlife campaign manager, World Society for the Protection of Animals, “High Liner’s commitment sends an important message to policymakers and other businesses that whaling should not be tolerated. We commend High Liner for taking this meaningful public stance and believe that their position demonstrates a high level of international support for ending the illegal hunting of whales.”


Industry News, Sustainability