A whale is pulled onboard an Iceland whaler

WWF Criticises Whaling Policy Shift

The Swedish branch of the Worldwide Fund for Nature has criticised the attempt by the Swedish and other Nordic governments to reopen the door to whale hunting.

The proposal to allow small-scale hunting came at a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg Friday. But most of the non-Nordic ministers at the meeting opposed the plan, which would have allowed limited commercial whaling for the first time in 24 years.

Japan, Norway, and Iceland have continued hunting, under provisions allowing whaling for scientific research.

Denmark, which represents hunters in Greenland, says Europe should back the proposal because the International Whaling Commission could become obsolete if it fails. The IWC will meet in Morocco June 21 to consider the plan.

Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren has rejected the criticism from the WWF, saying that he has supported a common EU plan, which he says would bring Japan, Norway, and Iceland into the system and tighten a loophole in the existing regulations.       

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