Whaler Watching campaign 2015

The Whaler Watching Programme is a citizen-led campaign to document and expose the full truth about commercial whaling in Iceland. Our organisation holds the belief, shared by the overwhelming number of individuals and governments worldwide, that the slaughter of these majestic animals for commercial purposes is unconscionable and ethically questionable.

About the campaign

Exposure and Attention – Effective tools against Iceland’s whaling industry

The protagonists of Iceland’s commercial whale hunt care a great deal about maintaining a low public profile. Information on whaling is tightly controlled by the industry whose actions are aided and abetted by their political cronies in the Icelandic government. The so-called “invisible industry“ goes to great lengths to keep their bloody activities hidden as best as they can in order to quell an informed national debate about animal welfare. The tactics that the whaling industry employs have allowed them to operate with impunity for years.

Hard to Port’s Whaler Watching campaign has chosen to use a new approach in order to draw attention to the annual carnage of Icelandic wildlife. We believe that legally-obtained detailed documentation and media coverage has the potential to kick-start a much-needed public debate on the defensibility of commercial whaling in Iceland. Our initiative will focus on the gathering and distribution of comprehensive data on the whaling operations. Our goal is to mobilize more people to raise their voice in defense of these vulnerable animal species. Through land and sea based documentation as well as aerial monitoring our campaign team will try to visually capture the whaling operations in all their bloody cruelty and ecological madness.

Change from within – Connecting with local communities

The ultimate goal of our Whaler Watching campaign is to put an end to the commercial whale hunt in Iceland. It is our firm belief that this cannot be achieved without the help and support of the Icelandic public. Ideally, change will come from within Iceland. The support that we received from many locals for our peaceful protest in 2014 has shown that it is not only foreign governments and animal welfare groups who oppose Iceland’s commercial whale hunt, but that in fact many Icelanders are either critical of or outright opposed to the industrial killing of whales. By connecting with local communities, we want to encourage and support those who share the wish to speak up against this killing and to advocate for a respectful treatment of marine wildlife in Iceland. Many Icelanders do care about the plight of these animals, and we look forward to building strong alliances with people who want to become active and help us put pressure on the government and the whaling industry.

Strengthening the movement for the protection of wildlife in Iceland

As an organization dedicated to the protection of some of nature’s most vulnerable creatures, we intend to build on the victories that other organizations have scored in recent years in the fight against commercial whaling. With our Whaler Watching Campaign we are following what we believe is the most promising approach to ending the commercial whale hunt. At the same time we at Hard to Port believe that there is strength not only in numbers but also in diversity, and that a plurality of campaigns and tactics will increase the movement’s impact. We therefore want to express our full support for and solidarity with any person or organization who actively opposes this annual carnage of marine wildlife. We are happy to contribute our expertise and manpower to the realization of the common goal of protecting these amazing animals.

Meet the team

  • Marc Pierschel

    Documentary Filmmaker – Marc’s work as a filmmaker includes documentaries like EDGE-Perspectives on drug free culture (2009) and Live and let Live (2013). He recently founded his production company Black Rabbit Images and currently works on his latest film project “The End of Meat”.

  • Björn Lexius

    Photographer – Björn is a passionate photographer based in Hamburg. He is the co-founder of Hafenliebe – Wedding Photography and worked on projects like “We Are Traffic” documenting Hamburg’s cycling culture. Björn’s photography has been published in major newspapers like DIE ZEIT, SÜDDEUTSCHE Zeitung as well as Spiegel Online, to name a few.

  • Dr. Anja Laabs

    Scientific Journalist and Veterinarian – Dr.Anja Laabs is a member of the German Federation of Journalists. She accompanies Hard To Port’s Whaler Watching Campaign to document and to do research on the current situation of commercial whaling in Iceland.

  • Dr. Falko Drescher

    Legal Advisor – Falko works as a lawyer in the city of Potsdam, Germany. In 2014 he helped to create Hard to Port and has been a helpful legal advisor to the organisation ever since. He is the author of “Wer kontrolliert die Polizei” (Who controls the police) and is a passionate outdoor adventurer.

  • Arne Feuerhahn

    Campaign Coordinator – Arne co-founded Hard to Port in 2014 in Reykjavik during a peaceful protest against Iceland’s commercial whale hunt. He started getting active for animals as an undercover camera man at Rodeo events in his late teens. Since 2008 he has volunteered and campaigned with several ocean conservation organisations against illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean and marine mammal captivity in Germany. Today Arne lives and works in Berlin.

  • Boris Niehaus

    Photographer – After studying photography in Edinburgh, Boris came to Berlin and started working as a freelance press-photographer and blogger. He is member of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV & IFJ) since 2008 and among others his pictures got published in SPIEGEL, STERN, ARTE, VICE and The Guardian. His latest travels and reports led him to conflict-areas such as Syria in 2012 and 2015, Iraq and Gaza.

To get the latest updates from our campaign in Iceland, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For media requests please contact us via media@hardtoport.org or call +354 692 5169