The Icelandic Whale Watching Association has rejected a designated
“whale watching area” proposed by the Marine Research Institute on the
grounds that it disproportionately favors whale hunters.
The area proposed by the Marine Research Institute can be seen here. The Whale Watching Association contends that the size and location of the proposed location “proves that the Marine Research Institutte is and always has been a mouthpiece for whale hunters”.
“The current Minister of Fisheries gave the task of creating a whale-watching zone to the Marine Research Institute” reads the statement in part “But the Marine Research Instititute never took into consideration the requests from the Whale Watching Association with regards to the minimal area to be covered.”
The statement goes on to request that the Minister of Fisheries recognize whale watching as a significant portion of Iceland’s travel industry, and reject the Marine Research Institute’s proposal outright. They suggest instead that the minister create a panel of independent scientists to create a whale watching area.
Whale watching is conducted all over Iceland, not just in the proposed capital area – the north of Iceland, for example, is a popular destination for the event. While whale watching continues to attract tourists and revenue, whale hunting is a subsidized industry.
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