As Iceland takes steps to promote its whaling industry, it ignores the benefits of a far more sustainable and profitable industry.
A 2009 report found that whale watching generated around $2.1 billion annually. Iceland's commissioner for the International Whaling Commission suggests that the two industries can coexist, but this seems unlikely as whales targeted by whale watchers begin to get killed off. The current relationship between the two industries has been reported as strained at best.
Whale stocks have not yet recovered to a point where whaling can be a sustainable practice. Participating in it stands to threaten Iceland's whale watching industry by reducing the number of whales in its waters and deterring animal-lovers from selecting it as a vacation destination .
Urge Prime Minister Johanna Siguroardottir and Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Jon Bjarnason to build up its whale watching industry, rather than cut down on whale populations.
As pressure on Iceland to stop its whaling practices increases, it becomes more important than ever the Iceland gets behind this cause.
This year's quota for 150 animals being killed is three times what is recommended as a sustainable whaling practice. This does not just threaten whale populations, it threatens Iceland's whale watching industry.
Iceland stands to benefit significantly from its identity as a destination for whale watching, a $2.1 billion industry that is increasing in popularity. However, whale-watchers will likely not want to contribute to this industry in Iceland if the whales they are watching are simultaneously being killed off.
Promote Iceland's whale watching industry, and stop whaling in Iceland.
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