Five major food firms dump shares in whaling operator

The Gorton’s fisherman is going cold turkey on whale meat. Five major food companies, including Japanese seafood giant Nissui — the owner of Gorton’s — announced that they are ending support for Japanese whaling by dumping their one-third share in Kyodo Senpaku, the largest operator of whaling ships in Japan. Nissui says the divestment is just a reorganization of assets, but the move is coming in the wake of an intense anti-whaling campaign by Greenpeace, which included organizing thousands of protest emails to the companies, as well as confronting whalers at sea. “After only a few months of consumer protest, the fragile commercial interest in whaling has collapsed,” exulted Greenpeace. The picture still seems dicey for the hunted cetaceans, however: apparently Japan’s government-backed “scientific whaling” operator, the Institute of Cetacean Research, is buying up many of the shares and has vowed to keep up the kill.