Members of the Independence Party and the Progressive Party demanded at a town hall meeting in Akranes last night, June 22, that Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the Minister of Fisheries, reconsider her decision to temporarily halt whale hunting. RÚV reports.
The meeting in Akranes was called in response to the recent decision to halt the whale hunting season this year in light of animal welfare concerns. Svandís addressed the reasoning behind the recent decision, acknowledging that people have strong opinions on the matter.
“It is always important to base the discussion on facts, genuine knowledge, and reality, but it is natural for people to have strong emotions and heated debates,” the minister stated.
Regarding the short notice of the decision, she explained that she had to quickly assess the potential impact of the advisory board’s recommendations based on the latest report.
“Knowing this, I cannot let the season start, so I made the decision to postpone the beginning in order to attempt to establish better communication with stakeholders and those who are most knowledgeable,” she said.
Teitur Björn Einarsson, representative of the Independence Party, also spoke at the meeting, indicating that the minister’s recent decision may be illegal.
Svandís denied this, referring to the Ministry’s obligation to follow welfare guidelines.