Norway to defy ban,
resume whale exports to Iceland
NORWAY: June 24, 2002
OSLO - Norway said last week that it would defy an international
commercial whaling and resume exports of whale meat to Iceland
Oslo said it would issue an export licence to a whaling company in
next few days to send 10-15 tonnes of minke whale meat to the
Atlantic island, although whales are on an international list of
“This is a great victory,” Ole Mindor Myklebust, a whaler and
of the export company Myklebust Trading AS, told Reuters. “It
has been a
battle full of surprises and disappointment.”
Norway resumed commercial hunting of minke whales in 1993,
global moratorium, and said last year that it would allow exports
pro-whaling nations like Japan and Iceland for the first time
Exports to Iceland had been stalled by a Norwegian demand that
carry out DNA genetic tests to help Oslo track the meat. Japan,
whale meat is also a delicacy, is expanding its own “scientific
research” whaling programme.
The DNA checking system “is now in place in Iceland and export
will now be issued,” Jan Pieter Groenhof, an adviser at the
Fisheries Ministry, told Reuters.
Myklebust, the only whaler to apply for a licence so far, said he
likely to export the frozen meat during the summer.
“We already have a deal. When we get a licence, we just need to
a place on a ship for transport,” Myklebust said.
He did not disclose the price. A whale contains on average about
kg of meat and 500-700 kg of blubber. Icelanders mostly eat fried
Iceland, which halted whaling in 1990, says that whales are
are consuming its fish stocks and should be hunted within limits.
wants to resume hunting, but the International Whaling Commission
repeatedly vetoed its requests for a system of regulated catches.
Norway, ignoring the IWC, has set its own catch quota of 674 minke
whales for this season.
The whaling lobby group High North Alliance said it hoped that
to Iceland could pave the way for trade with Japan.
“Iceland is a relatively small market, but it’s a start,”
Frovik, secretary at the High North Alliance.
Story by Inger Sethov
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE