Iceland resumes commercial whaling
In light of Iceland’s minister of fisheries decision to resume commercial whaling, North-Sailing would like to put forward its own point of view:
• North-Sailing has since 1995 carried around 220.000 passengers, thereof 90% international tourists, on its whale watching trips in Skjálfandi bay.
• North-Sailing does not agree with Icelandic authorities that it is “our right as well as our obligation” to hunt whales around Iceland. Whales are migrating animals that breed and feed partly in international waters.
• North-Sailing does not agree with simple theories, put forward by Icelandic authorities, about the balance of nature in the sea. North Sailing wants independent and believable scientific research to be conducted on the influence whales have on various fish species.
• North Sailing condemns that the fishery minister made his decision without consulting other stakeholders, such as the tourism and export industries, because this decision has bad influences on the welfare and image of those industries.
• It is North Sailing’s opinion that the decision to hunt whales is driven by emotional arguments rather than economical or biological.
• North Sailing has always been against whaling and protested it ever since the beginning of discussion about resuming commercial whaling, as well as when scientific whaling was begun in 2003.
• It is North Sailing’s opinion that the only sustainable utilisation of whales is to show them in their natural inhabitants. This form of tourism, whale watching, is in harmony with nature and the international community, creates many jobs, income and is in line with the image Iceland has conveyed throughout the years. Whale watching has been growing steadily within Iceland’s tourism for the past years.
Iceland´s fishery minister´s Food processing fall 2006!
3 prowhalers. From left, Einar K. Gudfinnsson minister of fisheries, Kristján Loftsson owner of Hvalur Hf and Halldór Blöndal chairman of the Committee of foreign affairs.
A fin whale in Skjálfandi Bay summer 2004