High Liner Foods Shuns Icelandic Companies Linked to Whaling

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High Liner Foods Shuns Icelandic Companies Linked to Whaling

By Zoë Robert
Whaling boats Reykjavík

Whaling boats. Photo: Páll Stefánsson

North American seafood company High Liner Foods announced last week that it would not purchase products sourced from Icelandic companies linked to whaling.

The Whales Need US (WNUS) coalition said in a press release that it had written to dozens of major U.S. wholesalers and retailers that source Icelandic seafood ahead of the largest seafood trade event in North America, the Seafood Expo North America, which concluded last week. 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. The managing director of Hvalur hf., Kristján Loftsson, is also chairman of the board of HB Grandi.

Whales Need Us purchased advertising space on Boston’s subway and tram lines. The ads, which will run for a month, feature an image of a whale and pose the question “Do you know who caught your seafood?” The ads also include the website address DontBuyFromIcelandicWhalers.com, which provides details of the Icelandic companies that hunt—or are linked to those that hunt—whales. 

MP for the Independence Party Ásmundur Friðriksson described High Liner Food’s decision to stop doing business with HB Grandi because of links to whaling as an attack on the Icelandic economy. 

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