Doubts Arising In Parliament Over Whale Hunting - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Doubts Arising In Parliament Over Whale Hunting

Published July 22, 2015

Main photo by
Arnulfo Hermes

There are growing voices within the ruling coalition to reduce or even stop whale hunting.

In an interview with Skessuhorn, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson spoke on the subject of whaling, saying that Iceland is sometimes “regarded suspiciously” due to the practice.

While emphasising that Iceland and the United States still have a good relationship despite Iceland’s whaling, he pointed out that Iceland has been snubbed when it comes to being invited to certain international conferences over it.

Although the country should reserve the right to use whatever resources are available, he added, “It’s something to consider, that maybe we should abide the International Whaling Commission by hunting fewer whales each year than we do now.”

This isn’t the first time he expressed this point of view, either. Last May, he conceded that US-Iceland relations would likely improve if Iceland stopped whaling altogether.

Gunnar Bragi is not alone in his contention – MBL reports that Independence Party MP Elín Hirst, posting on her Facebook, expressed the opinion that whale watching is a more important profession than whale hunting.

Currently, fin whale season is underway in Iceland, and 36 have been hunted so far.

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