Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir declared that she was against whaling in an interview published yesterday. Minister of Fisheries Einar K. Gudfinnsson said the government’s policy will remain unchanged.
“No one has been able to convince me yet that commercial whaling pays off,” Sveinbjarnardóttir said in the interview with Morgunbladid.
“I know Thórunn’s opinion, and I think she states her opinion in a calm manner. I’m sure we’ll discuss this in the government when the time is right, but this doesn’t worry me,” Gudfinnsson told Morgunbladid.
Gudfinnsson said the whaling policy set on October 17, 2006, will be valid throughout the current fishing season, or until September 1, and it is not clear when the matter will be reviewed by parliament. The minister added Iceland’s whaling had been successful so far.
“To me whaling is simply part of harnessing our resources,” Gudfinnsson said and emphasized that Iceland’s whaling complied with Icelandic and foreign laws.
Last fall Iceland’s government issued a quota for nine fin whales and 30 minke whales for the 2006/2007 fishing season. According to the Iceland Marine Research Institute, seven fin whales and two minke whales have been caught so far.