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UU celebrates the suspension of whaling

The Icelandic Youth Environmentalists are happy with the Minister of food, agriculture, and fisheries’ decision to suspend whaling until August 31st. There are many angles to look at when it comes to such decision-making, but we celebrate the fact that the government is bold and makes decisions in the interest of nature, because those decisions will always bring us the greatest benefit in the long run.

The decision is not least important in light of the enormous loss of biodiversity and rapid climate change that threaten us and tens of thousands of other species such as those that rely on nutrients cycled up and down ocean layers by whales. Such risks accentuate the need to protect nature and the rights of future generations to a healthy and clean environment. In these times, we must be careful with our actions to ensure that they are in line with our values, which should rather be seen as an opportunity for all of society to come together and create a world that we all want to live in.

This is at heart an ethical and science based decision, and it is fortunate that the law was adhered to in this matter. As the report from MAST and the conclusion of the Committee on animal welfare showed, the killing of whales took too long and the hunting methods do not comply with animal welfare laws. We wholeheartedly agree with the minister that the conditions of the whaling are unacceptable and that such activities have no future.

The joint effort of many organizations and individuals has proven successful and it is important that we pause and use the victory as inspiration to continue the fight for nature and future generations. However, it should be noted that although this victory is great news, it is not the permanent end of whaling, and it is therefore important that environmental and animal welfare considerations continue to form the basis of such decisions, which will sometimes mean updating our existing laws to insure they are in line with the action that needs to happen in the face of climate change, biodiversity loss, and the other environmental problems facing us.

We celebrate the fact that the minister has made a well thought out decision based on the best available information and that nature gets the benefit of the doubt!


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