Iceland Accused of Illegal Whale Meat Exports

19.3.2010
Words by Paul Nikolov
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has accused Iceland of breaking an agreement on the exporting of whale meat to European countries, RÚV reports.

The IFAW says that Iceland has broken the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by selling whale meat to Latvia and whale meal to Denmark. They obtained this information, easily enough, by seeing it published on Statistics Iceland's website.

Iceland is a signatory of CITES, as are Norway and Japan, which states that whale meat and other whale products may only be sold to those countries which also engage in whaling. It is for this reason that Icelandic whalers have been trying to sell whale meat to Japan. However, Japanese authorities have said that they already have more than enough whale meat.

The whale meat sent to Latvia arrived in January of this year, weighing 250 kilos in all. The Latvian government has promised to investigate how the whale meat got there.

The IFAW, for its part, has already taken the matter to the directorship of the European Union, the directorship of CITES, CITES officials in Latvia and Denmark, Interpol, and the World Trade Organization. What repercussions could arise from the matter remain to be seen, but it certainly wouldn't help in Iceland's effort to try and gain EU admittance.

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