Iceland’s interim government will allow whaling to continue through 2009 but left in question whether it would be permitted in the future, reports Reuters.
In one of its final moves before leaving power, Iceland’s outgoing administration raised the country’s whaling quota to 100 minke whales and 150 fin whales per year for the 2009-2014 period. The previous quota had been 40 minke, while 7 fin whales have been killed since the lifting of the country’s whaling ban three years ago.
Speaking Wednesday Fisheries Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson said whalers “should not take it for granted that whaling would be permitted over the following four years”, according to Reuters.
Icelandic merchants have been working to boost demand for whale meat by devising innovations such as whale sushi, vacuum-sealed marinated whale meat, whale pepper steak, and whale schnitzel. Iceland faced tourism boycotts when it resumed whaling in 2006.
Iceland resumed commercial whaling in August 2006 despite an international moratorium that has been in place since 1986. The move was widely condemned.