Iceland was asked to play a key part in an International Whaling Commission (IWC) task force yesterday to seek reconciliation between opposing factions before the IWC’s next annual meeting. The request was accepted.
Whales in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“It was agreed to establish a group with a select few key nations to seek compromise,” Tómas H. Heidar, Iceland’s primary representative on the IWC, told mbl.is. He is currently at the IWC’s annual meeting, which runs through the end of this week.
“The biggest issue at the meeting is the future of the IWC; the commission has hardly been operational because of disputes between whaling supporters and opponents,” Heidar explained.
Heidar said it will be decided in the coming days which other states will have a seat on the task force. “This group will hold closed meetings […]. It was considered essential if success in this important issue is to be achieved.”
Heidar added that there has been an air of reconciliation at the meeting. “It is like people are realizing that different work methods have to be established if success is to be achieved. The prerequisite is to listen to each others’ arguments and have factual discussions.”
According to mbl.is, a total of six fin whales have been hunted by Icelandic whaling company Hvalur since the fin whale season began last week. The minke whale season began last month.