Dubious ‘scientific’ whaling
The Iceland Nature Conservation Organisation (INCA) condemns the decision to hunt minke whales for so-called scientific reasons and regrets the damage to Iceland’s international image.
The Marine Research Institute’s research is unnecessary and contradicts the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which requires the safest possible estimation of whale populations and the revision of whaling.
The assumptions, which the Icelandic Government has used to resume whaling, are weak. For example it is clearly insignificant whether codling comprise 3 or 6 percent of the total feed of the minke whale population around Iceland. Sustainable minke whaling — as the government proposes — will have hardly any impact on how minke whales may affect fish stocks. In order to reduce significantly this alleged impact then a reduction in minke whale numbers, possibly even by a half or more in very few years, would be needed. This is clearly not sustainable.
INCA warns against presenting the issue as a ‘nationalist’ matter and points out that it is not possible to compare localised fish stocks around Iceland with large migratory marine mammals. It is believed that many whales are born in tropical waters and only spend a part of the year around Iceland. Iceland is internationally committed to the protection of whales (article 65 of UN agreement on High Seas Fishing) and any future utilisation of whale populations should only be in agreement with the IWC. It follows that the decision to resume whale hunting is by no means a private Icelandic matter.
INCA recommends that this ‘research’ program be abandoned forthwith.