From Iceland — Former Foreign Minister: Just Hunt The Non-Endangered Whales

Former Foreign Minister: Just Hunt The Non-Endangered Whales

Published September 16, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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A former Minister of Foreign Affairs has made a novel suggestion to end the current international row over Iceland’s whale hunting practices.

RÚV reports that former Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson believes there is a middle way when it comes to whaling: simply hunt the whales that are not endangered: minke whales. In fact, he contends that this is what one can read between the lines of a recent demarche from 35 nations exhorting Iceland to stop hunting fin whales.

“Which would be that Icelanders drop hunting fin whales, but may continue hunting minke whales for domestic use,” he told reporters, adding that the current Foreign Minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, “might not want to face this but the United States is obviously gathering momentum in this fight [against whaling].”

As reported, the demarche has been signed by all European Nation member states, as well as the United States, Australia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico and Monaco. At the same time, Minister of Fisheries Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson dismissed the condemnation, saying, “People and companies have maintained for a long time [that whaling has damaged the reputation of Icelanders] and pitted tourism and whale watching against whaling. But if we look at this rationally, and analyse the numbers, these two industries run really well alongside one another.”

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