Proposed scientific whaling by Icelanders were discussed by Árni M. Mathiesen, Minister of Fisheries, and Franz Fischler, the commissioner for fisheries and agriculture in the EU Commission, at a meeting this weekend. Mathiesen said to the Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið that Fischler had not expressed any formal protest on behalf of the EU because of the whaling, but news about the whaling were published in the Swedish media yesterday. He said the discussions were in a very friendly tone.
In an announcement from the EU Commission it is pointed out that whaling and trade with whale products are forbidden within the EU. It has been repeated after Fischler that whaling is a very delicate issue when it comes to the public opinion in the EU. "We therefore could not pursue whaling if we were in the EU according to what emerged during the meeting with Fischler," said Mathiesen.