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Humpback whale underwater

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Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

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Boto © Fernando Trujillo

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Tokitae in captivity

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Orcas at the seabed

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Iceland – are they having a rethink on whaling?

According to the latest news out of Iceland, there is a potential for the government increasing support for whale watching and increasing restrictions on commercial whaling.

It appears that they are looking to conduct an audit of the pros and cons of whaling, including its potential market in Japan vs the potential negative effects on tourism AND expansion of areas defined as off-limits to hunting for benefit of the whale watching tourism industry.

An Icelandic MP is also aking advantage of the change in Fisheries Ministers in Iceland, MP Mordur Arnason has put in three questions related to whaling, and calling on Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson to answer them.

Question 1  to the Fisheries and Agriculture Minister on Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Is it the policy of the Icelandic government or not that there should be special provisions for ASW in conjunction with the IWC, or that aboriginal whaling should be treated equally to industrial (ie commercial) whaling?

Question 2

1. What is the minster’s communication strategy for sustainable whaling?
2. Is whaling “sustainable” if a significant portion of the whale’s body is left at sea, or thrown in landfills?
3. Can whaling be considered “sustainable” if only a small portion of the catch has been sold successfully for a long time?

Question 3

Can the minister state if it is decided whether whaling is necessary for fisheries management?  If so, on what theoretical basis has the decision been made that whaling is part of fisheries management?

Source http://www.althingi.is/