Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding US Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Protest turns deadly as Palestinians rally against Gaza offensive

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

Iceland okays new whale hunt

Latest update : 2008-05-20

Iceland opened up the door to a new era of commercial whale hunting, setting a quota of mink whales to be killed. Iceland joins Norway as the only two countries to hunt whales since the 1986 international whaling moratorium.

REYKJAVIK, May 19 (Reuters) - Iceland's government said on
Monday it would allow 40 minke whales to be hunted, ending a
temporary halt to a practice which has angered conservationists.
 

A ministry official told Reuters that Einar Guoffinsson,
minister of fisheries, had issued the order. The head of a local
whaling association confirmed that fishermen on three whaling
boats were preparing to go to sea from Tuesday.
 

But Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir distanced
herself and other members of Iceland's coalition government who
belong to the centre-left Social Democrats from the decision.
 

"The minister of fisheries has constitutional competence for
issuing such regulations and does not have to consult the
government as such," she said in a statement.
 

"As minister for foreign affairs, I believe this is
sacrificing long term interests for short term gains, despite
the quota being smaller than in previous years."
 

Before 2006, Iceland had banned commercial whaling for 20
years. It ended the ban that year, issuing quotas that ran
through August 2007. When those quotas ran out, the government
decided not to issue new ones until there was evidence of demand
for whale meat.
 

"We hope that we will finish the 40-whale quota in the
beginning of July if the market responds well to the meat, as we
believe it will," said Gunnar Bergmann Jonsson, head of a minke
whaling association. He said last year 45 minke whales had been
fished and the meat was sold locally.
 

Jonsson said whaling was important to the Icelandic fishing
community, which had been hit by quota cuts for cod and capelin.
 

"There are around 50,000 whales in the waters surrounding
Iceland now and I don't believe that the fishing of 40 will make
any difference for the stock," he said.
 

But the decision is almost certain to anger
conservationists, who applauded Iceland's whaling halt last
year. Many have said that the whale-watching industry is
equally, if not more, lucrative than hunting the animals.
 

Jonsson said the whalers would work to ensure that their
hunts would not interfere with whale-watching.
 

"I would say that 95 percent of the whale fishing is much
further away from shore then the whale-watching boats ever go,
but we will make it a point to always let them know when we will
be going out to fish and try not to fish at hours when they will
be whale-watching," he said.

Date created : 2008-05-20

COMMENT(S)