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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:52 AM
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Japan sells Icelandic whale meat
Japan sells Icelandic whale meat
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC news website

Whale meat imported from Iceland and Norway has gone on sale in Japan, according to the Icelandic firm which caught and exported most of the meat.
Hvalur hf told BBC News that after completing food safety checks, the meat was now being distributed.

The consignment is Iceland's first whale export to Japan in 20 years.

The trade is legal because all three countries have registered exemptions to rules banning international trade in whale products.

There were unconfirmed reports last weekend that the meat was on sale, but this is the first official notification.

Some environmental groups fear that Iceland and Norway want to step up whale meat exports to Japan, which is seen as having the biggest potential market.

The present consignment consists of 65 tonnes of fin whale meat caught by Hvalur hf, and five tonnes of minke whale meat exported by the Norwegian company Myklebust Trading.

It arrived in Tokyo in June, received an import permit last month, and has now been given a clean bill of health.

"The meat has now cleared customs in Japan after undergoing very rigorous testing to ensure that it meets every aspect of Japan's food safety regulations," said Hvalur's CEO Kristjan Loftsson.
"We were always confident that this would be the case. It was only a question of time, as Japan is legally obliged to handle whale meat imports in the same way as any other seafood."

Profit warning

Mr Loftsson, whose company is the only one in Iceland equipped to hunt fin whales - the second biggest species - told BBC News that this export was designed to re-introduce fin meat to Japanese palates.
It is considered one of the tastiest varieties, but has largely been absent from the market in recent years, as Japan's own hunts excluded the species until the 2005/6 Antarctic season.

Kind of makes me happy that Iceland went bankrupt....
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:00 AM
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1. No doubt so that those fine people can conduct some "scientific research" at home.
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