Fisheries minister Einar Kristinn Gudfinnsson said licences would be granted to kill nine fin whales and 30 minke whales
in the year ending August 31 2007.
But setting out in a small wooden fishing boat to watch minke whales
off the storm-tossed north coast of Iceland is a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Oslo argues that limited catches of Minke whales
do not threaten the species, with numbers estimated at around a hundred thousand in the North Atlantic.
Now Iceland's ministry of fisheries has reportedly said that the country would kill only 25 minke whales
in 2004 as part of a scientific study and would not catch whales of other species at all.
"The sad thing is that the minke whales
are very friendly to the boats.
Freeman says there are three times as many minke whales
as there were 30 years ago, and humpbacks are increasing by 17 percent a year.
Johann Sigurjonsson, manager of the MRI, stated last year that taking 250 minke whales
would not have any effect on the stock of minke whales
in the mid-North Atlantic Ocean, as they have estimated the stock to be 58-70,000 animals.
Later in the plenary session from Monday through Friday, Japan plans to call on the IWC to support its controversial ''research'' whaling program in the northwestern Pacific, including new plans to catch 50 sei whales, considered an endangered species, and 50 minke whales
in coastal waters.
Due to the big gap between whaling and antiwhaling nations, the commission decided to reassess minke whale
stocks for the first time in a decade.
Pro-whaling groups are advocating the resumption of hunting for whales that have relatively large global numbers, citing global populations of 90,000 Bryde, 2 million sperm, and 1.4 million minke whales
Currently, the Japanese hunt Minke whales
, which are not endangered.
For example, minke whales
now number about 1 million.
Karl Stevens, Hebridean Whale Trail manager, said: "Scotland's west coast is one of Europe's best places to catch sight of whales, dolphins and porpoises from land - and you may see bottlenose and common dolphins, harbour porpoise, minke whales
and killer whales.
The fleet caught 333 minke whales
as planned without any interruption byanti-whaling campaigners, the Fisheries Agency said in a statement.
Common to the waters around Norway, minke whales
feed mainly on krill and other various fish species.