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.