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Iceland to hunt whales despite global ban

Iceland to hunt whales despite global ban and international outcry

18 October 2006 – The government of Iceland has announced that it will commercially hunt whales for the first time in more than two decades, contravening a moratorium established in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The announcement has drawn sharp criticism from the global community.

Iceland’s Ministry of Fisheries has granted permits for the commercial hunting of 30 minke whales and nine endangered fin whales. While Iceland has not officially hunted whales commercially over the last two decades, it has locally sold whale meat from its so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program.

Few Icelanders eat whale meat regularly and there is limited, if any, world market for the meat. IFAW’s Director of Wildlife and Habitat Protection, Dr. Joth Singh, said: “Commercial whaling is an out-dated and unnecessary industry that should have ended a century ago with the use of whale oil lamps.”

“The government of Iceland should be supporting its nation’s thriving and growing whale watching industry rather than sinking money and its political reputation into promoting the hunting of whales.”

Recent Gallup polling commissioned by IFAW confirmed how unnecessary commercial whaling is to Iceland, revealing that only 1.1% of Icelanders eat whale meat once a week or more, while 82.4% of 16 to 24-year-olds never eat whale meat.

Darren Kindleysides, IFAW Asia Pacific’s whale campaigner, said: “This is another example of a whaling nation thinking it can act outside the will of the international community.”

“How long must we wait before governments like New Zealand who are vocally opposed to whaling take real action to bring it to an end.”

ENDS

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