Iceland to resume commercial whaling despite international ban

Iceland plans to resume commercial whaling for the first time in nearly 20 years, despite an international moratorium. Through August 2007, the government will permit whalers to harpoon 30 minke whales and nine endangered fin whales. Iceland’s Fisheries Ministry says there are 43,600 minkes and 25,800 fin whales off of Iceland’s coast, and that limited commercial hunting is “consistent with the principle of sustainable development.” Iceland has been killing whales for allegedly scientific purposes since 2003. Anti-whaling nations, including the U.S. and Britain, were dismayed by Iceland’s announcement, as were green groups in Iceland and elsewhere. “There is no market for this meat in Iceland, there is no possibility to export it to Japan; the government appears to have listened to fishermen who are blaming whales for eating all the fish,” says appropriately named Arni Finnsson of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association. “This decision is giving the finger to the international community.”