The Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS), one of
Iceland’s largest labour unions, issued a statement yesterday
criticising former Miniser of Fisheries Einar K. Guðfinnson’s decision
to allow commercial whaling as “poorly thought out.”
While the SGS said it recognized commercial whaling as an employment opportunity, it added that it should be done in harmony the tourist industry and whale watching.
“The tourist industry is a meaningful and growing industry which competes with foreign players and depends on a positive image. No discussion has been put forth in this society with regards to who gets to hunt whales, when, where and how. We condemn the poorly thought out professional attitude of the former Minister of Fisheries, Einar K. Guðfinnson, in handing out five-year whaling permits to certain chosen individuals on his last day of office. Such is unacceptable.”
In related news, an open house meeting took place last night in Akureyri, hosted by Minister of Finance, Agriculture and Fishing Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Among the facts which came forward at this meeting was that 20% of Iceland’s economy is directly dependent upon the tourist industry.