Want To Expand Safe Area, Investigate Whale Hunting - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Want To Expand Safe Area, Investigate Whale Hunting

Published January 23, 2012

Three members of parliament have submitted a proposal calling for an expansion of the whale “safe area”, in which no hunting is allowed, as well as a thorough investigation into the actual economics of whaling.
Whale hunters and whale watching companies have often been at odds with each other, over both territory and what constitutes the right season for either. The solution found a couple years ago was to separate the two, where they were given different parts of the sea for conducting their businesses.
RÚV reports that Leftist-Green Árni Þór Sigurðsson, MP for The Movement Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Social Democrat Mörður Árnason submitted a joint proposal to parliament which would expand the “safe area” to cover almost the entirety of the Faxaflói harbour, with the border marked by a line connecting the island Eldey (just off the westernmost tip of the Suðurnes peninsula) and the westernmost point of Snæfellsnes. Everything to the east of this line would be a hunting-free zone. They also proposed that a safe area be established off the north coast, where whale watching is becoming a growing business.
In addition, the MPs said they believed that by pursuing whale hunting, Iceland is sacrificing great potential gains for little in return. They therefore believe the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture must re-organise the whale hunting system, and added that this ministry – along with the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry – should investigate how the business of whaling is arranged and conducted.


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