Iceland resumes whale hunting

iBrian

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As if there wasn't enough of an issue of our world's oceans being systematically destroyed through over-fiishing, Iceland resumes "scientific" whaling in an effort to circumvent basic bans at the International Whaling commission.

Question is, though - is it actually wrong for Iceland to resume whaling - for any reason - or is it liberal fluffiness misplacing concerns?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3157517.stm
Iceland whalers begin hunt Icelandic whale hunters have left port for their first hunt in 14 years, angering animal welfare groups and environmentalists.

The first of three boats left port in the early hours of Sunday, having been delayed by stormy weather on Friday. The two other boats left on Sunday afternoon - their routes kept secret.

No kills have been reported yet from any of the boats.

"Our plan calls for the whales to be taken in specific areas," Gisli Vikingsson, lead scientist on one of the boats, told state radio. The vessels are on a six-week mission to kill 38 minke whales - a mission Iceland insists is for scientific purposes, to protect its fish stocks.

It says whales have become so abundant since a worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling that they are threatening stocks of fish, including cod.

But the decision was attacked by the UK and US Governments, as well as animal welfare groups.

Tourism fears

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) says there is no scientific basis for the operation, and that Iceland cannot use science to camouflage its desire to resume commercial whaling.

A representative for Ifaw, Gill Sanders, is on one of the whaling boats. She plans to watch the crew fire their harpoons, and see how long it takes for a minke whale to die.

"It's going to be the most distressing thing of my life," she said. "But that's why I'm here and we need to know exactly what's going on."

Iceland's tourism industry has also criticised the hunt, fearing it could damage the country's image, and threaten the increasingly popular whale-watching business.

However, polls show three-quarters of Iceland's 290,000 population supports the resumption of whaling. Iceland has not hunted whales since 1989.

It left the International Whaling Commission, the body that regulates world whaling, in 1992. But it rejoined in 2002 on condition that it was allowed to register its objection to the moratorium on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986.

The environmental organisation Greenpeace has sent its flagship Rainbow Warrior on a mission to Iceland. The ship, which campaigned against Icelandic whaling on its maiden voyage in 1978, is due to arrive in two weeks.
 
Sure it's wrong for them to do this. Stupid too. I will personally boycot any Icelandic products, and recommend anyone else caring about this issue do so as well.
 
I'm not in any particularly position to even consider going to Iceland at the moment. If I were, I certainly wouldn't be going, just as a personal form of protest.

I really want to see governments moved the agenda past the cetaceans, though - I want to see our governments actually acknowledge - and act on - the fact that we are decimating our continental shelf fisheries through overfishing. That's just me, though. :)
 
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