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U.S. Joins Protest of Iceland Whaling

November 3, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States and two dozen other countries are protesting Iceland’s resumption of whaling, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.

``We’re extremely disappointed that Iceland has decided to resume commercial whaling in spite of the international ban and absent any agreed upon management system. Its actions undermine the proper functioning of the International Whaling Commission,″ Bill Hogarth, U.S. Commissioner to the IWC and director of the NOAA Fisheries Service, said in a statement.

NOAA, a part of the Commerce Department, is in charge of managing whales and other marine mammals in U.S. waters.

A ban on whaling was instituted in 1986 because the giant marine mammals had become depleted.

However, on Oct. 17, Iceland announced its was resuming commercial whaling. Since then Icelandic whalers have killed seven fin whales and one minke whale, NOAA said.

Joining in the protest are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Commission.

Norway also hunts commercially and Japan conducts what it calls scientific whaling.

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On the Net:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

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