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WHALING IN ICELAND, A LETTER

From: Mark Beaman <markasbeaman@gmail.com>
Date: 30 July 2018 at 15:04
Subject: Whaling in Iceland
To: postur@for.is


Ms Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Prime Minister of Iceland

Stjornarradshusid vid Laekjartorg

101 Reykjavik

Iceland


Dear Ms Jakobsdóttir

For many, many years I have been promoting and sending wildlife-orientated tourists to Iceland through my companies Birdquest (birdwatching and wildlife tours) and Wild Images (nature photography tours).

I am writing to you about the issue of whaling in Iceland, which after the developments of this summer, has become a very pressing matter, so much so that it is becoming hard for us to justify continuing to send ecotourism groups to a country that not only permits whaling, but even permits the hunting of the world's largest whales (Fin Whale and the endangered Blue Whale, or hybrids between the two, it matters little).

I fully realize that Iceland has a long tradition of whaling, and that Iceland is fiercely independent and no doubt as resentful of overseas pressure as any proud nation.

However, just because we have a history of doing certain things, and can look back on that history with pride and affection, does not mean that things can never change. As human societies we constantly evolve and, hopefully, progress. Attitudes do change and, as I understand it, whaling no longer has majority support in Iceland itself.

Knowing your own political background, it is hard to imagine that you are personally in favour of the continuation of whaling.

Regardless of the emotive aspects of being pro- or anti- whaling, I would like to suggest to you that the value of ecotourism to the Icelandic economy is hugely more important than the economic utility of whaling. Without a doubt, the vast majority of eco-tourists are opposed to whaling, whether on environmental, conservation or moral grounds, or a combination thereof. The whaling that has gone on this summer, including the harpooning of a Blue Whale (or hybrid Blue x Fin Whale) has caused a great uproar, including among our clients.

In order for this sector of Iceland's economy to continue to flourish, I would respectfully urge you to reconsider any renewal of whaling in Iceland as from 2019, or at the very least to considerably restrict its scope and remove licencing for large whales.

Yours sincerely

Mark Beaman

Managing DirectorBirdquest & Wild Images

United Kingdom