World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Whaling: Changing minds in Iceland

Changing minds in Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland 5 July 2004--According to a new opinion poll (1) conducted in Iceland by the IMG Gallup for Greenpeace and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), support for the resumption of whaling has declined.

The poll asked: "Are you in favour or against Icelanders starting whale hunting again?" Results show that over a third of Icelandic people, traditionally a whaling nation, no longer support whaling.

Since April 2003, the percentage of Icelandic people in favour of whaling has dropped from 74.6% to 67.3%. During the same period, the number of people opposed to whaling has increased from 12.3% to 15.2% and the proportion of those who are undecided has increased from 13.1% to 17.4%

"This shows that domestic opinion on whaling in Iceland is changing and is on the decline. Whale meat consumption is rapidly decreasing and the domestic tourism industry is coming out strongly against whaling," said Frode Pleym of Greenpeace International.

The Icelandic Government recently announced that it will put its so-called 'scientific' whaling programme on hold and limit this year's take to 25 minke whales, down from the planned quota of 250 minke, sei and fin whales.(2) "The Government of Iceland should react wisely to public opinion and cancel its 'scientific' whaling programme altogether," added Pleym.

For many years, Greenpeace was considered an enemy of Iceland, following earlier controversial actions to stop Icelandic whaling. By contrast, this year the Greenpeace ship, MV Esperanza, which is currently in Iceland (3) urging people to 'Choose the future, not whaling', has been visited by the President of Althingi, the Icelandic Parliament.

Last autumn, Greenpeace launched the 'Pledge' campaign to show the potential economic and environmental gains to be had by choosing sustainable tourism over whaling. Over 57,000 people around the world have pledged to seriously consider a vacation in Iceland, rather than elsewhere, if it stops whaling. (4)

Notes to Editors:

(1) The sample size of the Gallup poll was 1274 and the proportion of those who

responded was nearly 63%. Women, urban citizens and the younger generation tend to oppose whaling more frequently than others. For instance, less than 50% of the age group between 16 and 24 years "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" with resuming whaling. The full poll results are available on request.

(2) 738&campaign_id=

(3) Onboard the Esperanza are Greenpeace activists from 17 countries.

Read more about the Esperanza tour and updates from cyber-activists Marnee Benson and Tope Akintola who won berths on the ship through promoting the Greenpeace Pledge and are assisting Greenpeace during the Icelandic whaling tour.

(4) Through the Greenpeace website and other communications to our supporters, we ask people around the world to participate in protecting vulnerable areas and species through appropriate opportunities, including visiting Iceland.

Read more:

The economic value of whale watching in Iceland

Greenpeace and Iceland

The history of commercial whaling in Iceland

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news