18 October 2006
Greens dismayed at Iceland whaling decision
News that Iceland is to begin commercial whaling after a 20-year hiatus is being greeted with dismay by Green Party
Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei.
The Icelandic Government announced yesterday that whalers will be allowed to harpoon a commercial quota of 30 minke
whales and 9 fin whales per year, despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling administered by the
International Whaling Commission.
"The Green Party is appalled by this distressing news, which is a giant step backwards for whale conservation," Mrs
"We are particularly concerned that one of the species Iceland proposes to hunt commercially, the fin whale, is on a Red
List of endangered species. No endangered species of any kind should be subject to commercial hunting.
"Because Iceland's neighbour Norway has also resumed commercial whaling, this move will place great strain on the whale
population in this region.
"Worse, there is no evidence of a commercial demand for whale meat in Iceland. As we have seen time and time again in
Japan, consumers are not interested in eating whale meat in the numbers it would take to support a commercial operation.
Icelanders have not been buying whale meat from scientific catches, so it is clear that the decision to resume
commercial whaling is designed purely as a political affront to the International Whaling Commission.
"Given the lack of demand for whale meat, Iceland's decision is a particularly backward-looking one. The real commercial
potential from whales is in whale-watching and sustainable tourism. It is to these initiatives that Iceland should be
looking, rather than reverting 20 years and further endangering a threatened species," Mrs Turei says.