"I will not issue a new quota until the market conditions for whale meat improve and permission to export whale products to Japan is secured ... There is no reason to continue commercial whaling if there is no demand for the product."Many in the west appear to have taken these statements to mean that Iceland intended to withdraw from whaling on a permanent basis, perhaps under the impression that there is no demand for whale meat products - something we often hear from some groups in the commercial anti-whaling industry.
"Minke sashimi is a quite popular starter in Reykjavik restaurants"
"I believe this is sacrificing long term interests for short term gains"Her recognition that there are (at least) short term gains to be had from sustainable whaling is noteworthy, but I've not been able to find more detail about her beliefs regarding Iceland's long term interests. Later when speaking with Condoleeza Rice, she reportedly asserted that the minke quota is sustainable, so I presume she thinks there is something to the idea of sustainable whaling being a threat to the rest of the Icelandic economy.
“This is frustrating news. Iceland is pursuing a completely commercial enterprise driven by profit motive with no oversight by IWC members nor analysis by their scientific committee ... I urge Iceland to reconsider this decision and focus on the overarching principles of the Commission rather than the short-term interests of its whaling industry. At a time when we should be doing more to help protect whales, Iceland is going in the wrong direction”-- U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez
“The United States is deeply disappointed in Iceland’s decision ... The IWC has begun a process to reduce provocation and enhance negotiations within the organization. This new unilateral commercial quota will only serve to undercut progress and good faith negotiations for long-term solutions in the Commission.”-- Bill Hogarth, U.S. IWC Commissioner
"While there's an exception to the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on the hunt for scientific or indigenous whaling, Iceland still needs to be demonstrate that it is killing these whales for genuine non-commercial purposes"-- Barbara Helfferich, Commission Environment spokesperson
“New Zealand welcomed Iceland’s decision to halt whaling last year, and I am troubled that Iceland may be reversing its decision ... Iceland’s resumption of whaling would come at a time when the IWC is making a genuine effort to build trust, and would undermine the trust developed through recent diplomatic efforts.”-- Steve Chadwick, NZ Conservation Minister
"The loopholes that exist - and this is a loophole, frankly, that Iceland have used - need to be closed ... we need to have firm and rigorous science when we discuss the issues of so-called scientific whaling, and we'll be arguing very strongly that the global moratorium can't be compromised any longer."-- Peter Garrett, Australian Environment Minister
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