Greenland defends narwhal hunt



Greenland has adopted and is keeping to its new beluga and narwhal hunt quotas, the Netherlands has never filed a formal complaint with the European Union about Greenland’s trade in narwhal and Niels Nielsen is not a spokesman for the home rule government, but with the Danish Committee for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), said Ole Henrich from the home rule government in response to a Sept. 17 Siku news brief.

“It is absolutely not true that the new rules prohibit us from exporting jewelry made from narwhal teeth. The ban only covers export of narwhal tusks to further ‘fabrication.'”

The Netherlands Scientific Authority refused import permission for a narwhal tusk from Greenland, which had been exported from Greenland via Canada.

“Only males have tusks, so trade in tusks does not pose a risk for the species. On the contrary, trade in tusks, by maximizing the value of each whale caught for the hunter, will reduce the pressure for larger quotas and will also direct the hunting towards males and therefore away from females,” said Greenland’s Institute of Natural Resources.

Last month, Greenland’s department for fisheries and hunting set a 2004-05 quota for 300 belugas and 200 narwhals in western Greenland.

Earlier this year, the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission expressed “grave concern” over the conclusions on the status of the West Greenland narwhal, where substantial reductions in harvesting will be required to reduce the decline of this stock.

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