August 26, 2007 – 4:37PM
The Government of Iceland wants to suspend commercial whaling, Fisheries Minister Einar Gudfinsson confirmed. He told radio RUV in Reykjavik that, as of the close of the current whaling season on September 1, Iceland would for the time being provide no new catch quotas in light of the absence of interest from clients of whale meat.
In 2006, against the backdrop of strong international protest, Iceland approved for the first time after a break of more than 20 years the killing of 39 minke whales and nine fin whales for commercial purposes.
But just seven of each of the species were hunted by Icelandic whalers, mostly because of the surprisingly low prospects for sales in Japan.
Gudfinsson added that he would release catch quotas if there was a clear interest in whale meat from customers.
"We always said that whale catching has to function according to the rules of the market," he said on Saturday.
Commercial whale hunts have taken place in the North Atlantic island despite a worldwide ban on whaling by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in the 1980s.
In Hamburg, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) welcomed the suspension as "the only correct decision."
Now Iceland should take a second step and terminate the 2003 measure that provides for whaling "for scientific purposes", the IFAW said.
Recent related article of interest: Bloody whate hunt off Japan shocks tourists
Photo: Right – the Baird’s beaked whale is pictured at Abashiri Port being processed.
The Faeroese proudly boast of how much they enjoy the pleasure of making the whales bleed, poking out their eyeballs and ripping the fetuses from the pregnant females. Whether or not the mercury contributes to this barbarism, we can’t say, but it does show that these people have a depraved indifference to the suffering of others.