The Pirate Party tabled a bill in Alþingi, Iceland’s parliament, today that would legislate the end to commercial whaling in the country.
In a Facebook post announcing the legislation, which has the backing of the Pirates, the People’s Party, the Social Democrats and the Liberal Reform Party, Pirate Party MP Andres Ingi Jónsson said the bill would bring whales under the protection of Iceland’s wildlife laws. The bill proposes making whaling illegal by repealing the Act on whaling, no. 26/1949, and bringing whales under the law on the protection, preservation and hunting of wild birds and wild mammals, no. 64/1994.
A new article is proposed to the law on wildlife protection stating, “Whaling is prohibited according to this law. It is prohibited to export, offer for sale or sell game or other products of whales that have been killed or killed in nets.”
Pirate Party MP Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir spoke with the Grapevine earlier in September when parliament remained on summer break. She expressed concern that Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir would allow Hvalur hf’s whaling licence to lapse at the end of this year rather than attempting to legislate an end to whaling.
“We have drafted a bill that we have offered all members of parliament to be co-signatories on that focuses on banning all whaling and doing it the right way through parliament,” she said. “We expect to at least get it through the first reading and that there will be some debate because we are offering MPs to do the right thing in the legal way so Iceland can take a legislative decision to ban whaling, just as has the rest of the world has aside from very few outlier countries. We want to join the rest of the world in outlawing these barbaric practices once and for all.”
Andres Ingi wrote to the Grapevine that he is hopeful the bill will progress through first reading and into committee quickly since it was tabled as soon as Alþingi resumed.
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