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EMP To Discuss Whaling In Iceland

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Published September 7, 2012

One of the European Union parliament’s most senior members will be going whale watching in Iceland today, and using the opportunity to discuss whaling, Iceland and the EU.
The EU prohibits the hunting of any whales, and so with Iceland currently in accession talks with the organisation, the fact that Iceland does hunt whales is a matter of great concern to the EU.
EMP David Martin writes on his blog that today at 16:30 he will be taking a whale watching trip in Reykjavík. In his own words:

I have accepted an invitation from IFAW in the first week of September to join the crew of the Song of the Whale for a day to see for myself. The visit will allow me the opportunity to gain an insight into marine science and the functioning of a research vessel; it will also allow me to see whales at close hand.
The trip will allow me to discuss some of the key issues surrounding whaling in Iceland and around the world with stakeholders engaged in this issue. Given my involvement on the EU-Japan Trade negotiations, the experience should provide me with arguments to highlight the fact that whale watching has been proven to be far more economically sustainable than whaling.

Martin also points out that the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is currently working with Icelandic MPs, whale watching companies and the Reykjavík Tourist Board to create a whale sanctuary in Faxaflói harbour, which surrounds the capital.



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Sheep Break Free, Police Called

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The Police in Mosfellsbær, a small town east of Reykjavík, received a call after two sheep at Árbæjarsafn made a run for it, reports Vísir. Árbæjarsafn, also known as Reykjavík City Museum aims to give its visitors an insight into the living conditions, work and recreational activities of the people of Reykjavík in earlier times. The sheep belong to the museum but saw an opportunity yesterday and took it by breaking free. Unfortunately for them, they did not make it far and were quickly rounded up by local, Ívar Óli Kristjánsson. Museum staff picked the sheep up, returning them to Árbæjarsafn.

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Icelandic Symphony Orchestra Debuts At BBC Proms

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The Iceland Symphony Orchestra made its Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday, reports RÚV. The Symphony performed works by two homegrown composers, both inspired by Iceland’s geology. The slow-growing, primal Geysir by Jón Leifs balanced the shifting tectonics of Hauk Tómasson’s Magma. “We felt so great,” said Concertmaster Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir. “We could have played on that stage for 50 years. There was no stress, it was just absolutely wonderful, I can’t explain it any other way.” The BBC Proms is a summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and events founded in 1985.

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Immigrant Children To Get Mother Tongue Classes

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The City of Reykjavík is making preparations to set up mother tongue classes for primary school children of foreign origin. According to an announcement posted on City Hall’s webpage, the School and Recreation Council has passed a measure to set up a workgroup whose purpose it will be to outline how immigrant primary school children will be taught their native languages. The group will be comprised of representatives from all the parties in City Council, directed by Social Democrat vice councilperson Sa­bine Leskopf. The focus of the group will be to assess the need for children of foreign origin to

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88 Fin Whales Culled So Far

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Over half the quota of fin whales has been culled so far this summer, showing a slight decline from the year previous. Since whaling season began last June 15, Vísir reports, 88 fin whales have been culled. The maximum quota is for 154 fin whales, which may only be hunted during a 3-month period. “It’s being going decently well,” Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the plant manager of whaling company Hvalur hf. “There are a bit fewer animals than there were at this same time last year. It’s been a difficult time, but it’ll work out.” Greenpeace, amongst others, have pointed out

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Nói Síríusly Looking For Candy Tasters

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Icelandic candy manufacturer Nói Síríus is searching for volunteers for a “tasting panel” for the company’s product development department. The tasters chosen would be sent new candy prototypes and asked to mark them, to help Nói Síríus decide which products should make it into production. In the past few years 40-50 families have been sent these prototypes to try out but the company has now decided to expand the testing group and advertised the position on Facebook. Vísir reports that within 20 minutes 514 people had volunteered and at time of writing over 1.300 people had commented on the post,

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Scientists Can’t Agree On Bárðarbunga Eruption

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Scientist have been busy interpreting the newest data from Bárðarbunga but cannot seem to agree on what precisely the data indicates, reports Vísir. Kristín Vogfjörð, Director of Research at the Icelandic Met Office believes that based on her interpretations of the GPS data, the pressure is receding and the likelihood of eruption is minimising. Meanwhile, Ingi Þorleifur Bjarnason, a research scholar with the Insitute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland interprets the data differently, believing that the pressure is increasing and that the volcano is rising in preparation for eruption. Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, geophysicist and professor at the University of Iceland

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