IWC-Iceland rejoins International Whaling Commission (fwd)

From: pita admininstrator (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Date: Sun Jun 17 2001 - 20:40:14 EDT


Subject: Iceland rejoins International Whaling Commission (fwd)

Iceland rejoins International Whaling Commission Sapa AP June 11 2001 at
03:37PM

Reykjavik, Iceland - Iceland has rejoined the International Whaling
Commission, nine years after quitting the organisation in protest, the
Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Even as it came back into the fold of the IWC, the government reiterated
its opposition to the group's 1986 global ban on commercial whaling.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the government feels it can
best influence the whaling debate from within the IWC, which is hosting an
international convention on whaling regulations in London next month.

"There are signs within the IWC that support is increasing for sustainable
whaling in some form," it said.

The island nation of 250,000 people grudgingly stopped its hunts in 1989,
three years after the IWC moratorium was enacted to protect the giant sea
mammals.

However, in 1992, the same year Norway announced plans to resume its own
commercial whale hunts, Iceland quit the whaling commission, claiming the
organis! ation set up to manage whaling had become one devoted only to
preventing all hunts.

That view was re-expressed by the Foreign Ministry. It called the IWC "a
non-whaling commission rather than a whaling commission. Regrettably, this
development has not been undone yet."

Iceland's parliament passed a resolution in 1999 to resume hunting, saying
the country had the right to use all marine resources within its
territorial waters.

But Iceland has yet to restart the hunts, mostly due to fears that it
could adversely affect the country's fish exports. Several supermarket
chains in Europe and North America refused to sell Icelandic fish when it
was a whaling nation.

Norway is the only country that hunts whales for profit. It is not bound
by the ban because commission rules allow its members to reject its
rulings. - Sapa-AP

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