Icelandic Politician Calls for Review of Whaling

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Icelandic Politician Calls for Review of Whaling

By Zoë Robert
Whaling

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Leader of the Left-Green Movement, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, says Iceland should review its whaling industry and evaluate the benefits to the country’s economy, visir.is reports. Katrín rejected finance minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s comparison of the issue of Iceland’s whaling with the death penalty in the United States. 

In an interview on Icelandic television on Thursday, Bjarni criticized the United States’ decision not to invite Iceland to attend the Our Ocean conference because the country practices whaling. In a post on Facebook, Bjarni questioned whether relations between the two countries should depend on the whaling issue alone. Iceland could, for instance, bring up the issue of the death penalty and how it is performed in the United States, Bjarni wrote.

Katrín says that an open debate about whaling in Iceland urgently needs to take place. She argues that questions about the benefits of whaling, how the animals are killed, as well as environmental questions, need to be answered. While she has strong views on the death penalty and says it is OK for the Icelandic government to criticize the practice, she says the two issues are not comparable.

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