President of Iceland Defends Whaling Skip to content

President of Iceland Defends Whaling

In a recent article by Laura Bly in USA Today on the ethics of eating whale as a tourist in Iceland and US President Barack Obama’s position on Iceland’s whaling, President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson defended Iceland’s right to hunt whales.


President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

“In September, President Obama initiated potential diplomatic sanctions against Iceland for its commercial whaling, including possible limits on cabinet-level visits to the country,” Bly wrote, adding, “Not surprisingly, Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson sees things differently.”

In an interview with Bly, Ólafur spoke of Iceland’s centuries-old whaling tradition, pointing out that whale meat was a dietary staple for most of his generation.

“Utilizing the resources of the ocean has been essential to our survival,” Bly quoted the president, who went on to comment that “he finds it ‘paradoxical’ that the United States allows Alaskan Eskimos to kill endangered bowhead whales as a subsistence tradition.”

Click here to read the full article in USA Today and here to read more about Iceland’s whaling.


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