Answers Wanted From Fishing Minister On Whaling Death

Answers Wanted From Fishing Minister On Whaling Death

Published July 4, 2014

Photos by
Skari

Both those who oppose and support the practice of whaling want answers from the Minister of Fisheries on how long it takes a whale to die once harpooned by an Icelandic whaler.

“There is no point to supervising and conducting research on how we conduct [whale] hunting here if the results won’t be published,” Sigursteinn Másson, a representative of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Iceland, told Vísir, referring to remarks made by Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson in parliament last Monday.

Amongst the statements on whaling the minister made was that while a study will be conducted this summer on how long it takes a whale to die once harpooned by an Icelandic whaler, these results will not be made public.

The secrecy is not opposed solely by those against whaling, either.

“I’m not afraid of this information being published,” said Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, managing director of the whaling company Hrefnuveiðamanna ehf. “It would only help our case.”

As reported, last December Left-Green MP Árni Þór Sigurðsson asked the minister if any studies had been conducted in Iceland on how long it takes minke whales and fin whales to die. The minister responded last February by saying that no such studies had been conducted in Iceland, adding that the discussion on whale hunting itself had a part to play.

“Despite the fact that the highest standards are set on whaling equipment, exceptional incidences will always arise,” the minister said in part. “In the discussion about whaling, such incidences are taken to be the norm rather than the exception. Such discussions have led to whaling countries not publishing any documents [on the length of time to death].”


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