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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09REYKJAVIK104
2009-06-10 15:23:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Reykjavik
Cable title:  

ICELANDIC PRIORITIES REVEALED FOR INTERNATIONAL WHALING

Tags:   SENV  EFIS  KSCA  PREL  IWC  ETRD  IC 
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VZCZCXRO5492
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRK #0104 1611523
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101523Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4088
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0040
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0021
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0001
						UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000104 

STATE FOR OES LISA PHELPS AND MAGGIE HAYES AND EUR/NB
USDOC FOR NMFS CHERI MCCARTY
TOKYO FOR BART COBBS
COPENHAGEN FOR ESTH HUB

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIS KSCA PREL IWC ETRD IC
SUBJECT: ICELANDIC PRIORITIES REVEALED FOR INTERNATIONAL WHALING
COMMISSION MEETING

REF: STATE 57029

UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000104

STATE FOR OES LISA PHELPS AND MAGGIE HAYES AND EUR/NB
USDOC FOR NMFS CHERI MCCARTY
TOKYO FOR BART COBBS
COPENHAGEN FOR ESTH HUB

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIS KSCA PREL IWC ETRD IC
SUBJECT: ICELANDIC PRIORITIES REVEALED FOR INTERNATIONAL WHALING
COMMISSION MEETING

REF: STATE 57029


1. (U) Emboff met with Iceland's Commissioner to the International
Whaling Commission (IWC) Tomas Heidar and Director of the Ministry
for Foreign Affairs' Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs
Department Jon Egill Egilsson on June 9 to relay reftel points and
elicit Iceland's priorities for the annual IWC meeting in Portugal.
Iceland's responses are keyed to reftel. The official delegation
will consist of four members: Tomas Heidar; Gisli Vikingsson, a
scientist from the Marine Research Institute; Kristjan Loftsson,
owner of the whaling company Hvalur, which is the only company with
the capacity to hunt large whales such as fin whales; and a fourth,
unspecified person.


2. (SBU) Begin responses to reftel (note internal numbering):
9a. Heidar said in the report of the SWG, there is a footnote
indicating a reservation by two countries, one of which is Iceland.
Although Heidar described the footnote as inaccurate in detail, he
said the principal meaning was conveyed. The Icelandic delegation
is concerned about the two stage process -- first separating Japan
and sanctuaries in one stage and then moving on to a second stage on
general rules. In Iceland's view, the "Future" process should be
combined in a single package.

9b. Heidar said that the meetings should be closed to observers and
for states only. He clarified that Iceland has no difficulty
speaking in front of observers, but it is their experience that
others might not speak their mind in an open meeting.

9c. Heidar said it would be more realistic to limit the number of
participants in these discussions to the number of countries that
are most affected. He further clarified this as meaning whaling
countries and "the most outspoken on the other side" and a group of
countries committed to the process.

9d. Heidar's recommendation for a Chair was that he/she be balanced.
He asked about rumors that current Chair Dr. Bill Hogarth's term
would be extended. Heidar said that Iceland would be willing to let
Hogarth continue if the election is postponed. Iceland will not
present a candidate. Heidar also said the Nordic group had met and
there is no confirmed candidate from the group.

10a. Heidar and Egilsson thought the chair of the SWG had been
effective.

10b. Heidar and Egilsson did not have any recommendations regarding
the chairmanship of the SWG.

16a. Heidar and Egilsson both emphatically said the GOI is not
involved in the trade of whale products: "the GOI does not further
trade or hinder it." Rather, "trade is open and left to private
parties to establish."

16b. Heidar said there is no change in the principle behind
Iceland's whaling; "we are conducting sustainable whaling...that
means it is conservation as it's based on scientific advice."
Heidar said that for GOI there are just two kinds of whaling --
sustainable and not sustainable. He said that is how whaling should
be defined and sustainability should be kept in mind when talking
about aboriginal whaling or research whaling. Heidar clarified that
there are no changes this year to whaling but that future whaling
had not been decided.

End responses to reftel.

KLOPFENSTEIN