Skip to main content

International Whaling Commission

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 26 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will press for Iceland's expulsion from the International Whaling Commission following the announcement that it intends to resume commercial whaling; and if he will make a statement. (95658)

The UK will continue to protest at the highest diplomatic level against Iceland’s activities. I have called the Icelandic ambassador to my office to explain this decision and to voice our strong opposition to Iceland’s commercial whaling. We will continue our efforts, along with other countries, to urge Iceland to reconsider their position and reverse this unjustified and unnecessary decision.

However, there are no provisions within the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) that provide for the exclusion of parties who are considered to have broken the rules. It is debatable whether Iceland’s action could reasonably be considered a breach of its treaty obligations, since it was taken under a formal Reservation made by Iceland on rejoining the International Whaling Commission in 2002. However, the UK’s formal objection to Iceland’s reservation to article 10(e) of the ICRW (the part enforcing the moratorium) remains.