Tomas H. Heidar: Why Iceland will continue to hunt whales
Wednesday 23 June 2010
I want to try and explain why Iceland conducts whaling and why we will not give it up.
The first reason is that whaling is important to our economy. Income is generated from the sale of whale meat and 200 seasonal jobs rely on the whaling industry. In a country with a population of 300,000, 200 jobs are significant, particularly considering the economic crisis that we currently have.
Whales also have an indirect economic impact on the rest of our fishing industry, which is absolutely crucial to us. We export about 95% our fish catch and thousands of jobs are generated by the commercial fishing industry.
But there is competition between the whales and fishermen. Minke whales, for instance, eat cod whilst fin whales feed of food that fish also feed on. We have produced estimates that show if we conduct sustainable whaling we would also be able to have higher quotas on commercial fish catches.
But the most important reason to understand why we do whaling – and this is often forgotten – is the principle. This is about the right of a coastal state to exploit its living marine resources in a sustainable manner.
Many NGOs and anti-whaling countries see the oceans as some sort of giant zoo or sanctuary. But we look upon the ocean as a resource which we have a right and obligation to utilise in a sustainable manner for both ourselves and future generations.
The talks in Morocco broke down because the anti-whaling countries were not willing to find a compromise. The obvious compromise between sustainable whaling countries and anti-whaling countries will be limited whaling with reduced quotas. But it seemed there are so many anti-whaling countries who are simply not willing to agree to that.
A proposal for a ban on international trade in whale products was also something that was brought up at the last minute by the anti-whaling nations. It was never discussed in the support groups in the lead up to the conference and it was something that we could never agree to.
Iceland is a country that lives off the export of its fisheries so as a matter of principle we can never allow limitation or restrictions on our sustainable resources.
Tomas H. Heidar is Iceland’s Whale Commissioner
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...