MPs Propose Examining Whaling - The Reykjavik Grapevine

MPs Propose Examining Whaling

Published April 1, 2014

Main photo by
GAS

MP´s Propose Examining Whaling

Nine members of Iceland’s parliament have submitted a proposal calling upon the government to examine whether or not it is in Iceland’s interests to continue whaling.
The proposal is led by Social Democrat Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, and is supported by MPs from the Left-Greens, Bright Future, and the Pirates.

The proposal is aimed specifically at Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson, suggesting that the ministry examine “economic and business interests, the interests of the fishing industry, and the tourist industry”, as well as whaling’s possible effects on “Iceland’s position on the international stage and in relations with other countries.”

The proposal cites, amongst other reasons, the fact that the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora bans the sale of products made from minke and fin whales – two species that Iceland hunts, that the Icelandic government “has for a long time put a lot of funds towards developing whale hunting”, and that the United States has been placing increased pressure on Iceland to stop whaling.

Ultimately, the proposal calls upon the government to “determine whether this industry can thrive alongside others in the same area” and “whether whaling hurts Iceland’s business interests, and interests in other areas.”

As a parliamentary proposal, if passed, it would create a government policy, but would not specify how or when this policy would be executed.

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