Talk show blasts Icelandic whaling

A popular talk show host broadcasting on both radio and television recently spoke out against Iceland’s policy on commercial whaling.

Bonnie Erbe, a lawyer and journalist, made the attack after praising Iceland for its environmental policies. She commended the Icelandic government for its use of alternative fuel sources, its lack of dependence on oil and its leadership in the environmental arena.

“[If only] Iceland took the same wise approach to its stewardship of the sea bounty,” she continued.

Her criticism of Iceland is being delivered not only on air, but also through her syndicated newspaper column which she writes for the Scripps Howard News Service. One of her latest columns reads, “Late last month, Iceland issued a smart environmental policy decision, but for all the wrong reasons. The country lifted – temporarily, at least – its much-maligned ‘quota’ of whales. That means it decided not to allow fishermen to continue slaughtering these thinking, feeling treasures that, by man’s greediness, have been pushed to the limits of extinction. Why? The reason offered was there’s no longer ‘a market’ for whale meat.”

While most nations in the West are doing their best to save the whales, Iceland, Erbe says, is “allowing its greedy fishing fleet” to slaughter them.

Iceland only recently allowed commercial whaling to resume along its shores, breaking a ban on the activity which has been in force for 20 years. The decision has been highly controversial, inviting protests from environmental activists and anti-whaling groups.

It was not these protests that caused the whaling to stop in Iceland, however. The government made a decision last month to halt whaling due to a weak market for whale meat, according to the fisheries minister. Japan is providing the only market for the sale of the meat to date.

Bonnie Erbe holds degrees in both law and journalism and has practiced law for over 16 years. Her column is printed in over 400 newspapers across America. When she returned to her home after a recent whale watching trip in Iceland she concluded, “Perhaps if Iceland’s officials wisely put the eco-tourism value of whales above slaughter value, they would have made the slaughter-ban permanent and for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones. The country still has time to walk the walk while talking the talk.”