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Last Updated: Wednesday October 18 2006 13:44 GMT

Iceland to start hunting whales

Whale tail

Conservationists are angry with Iceland because the country has said it will start hunting whales for their meat.

There has been an international ban on hunting the animals for 20 years, but Iceland say they are pulling out of that agreement.

Icelandic ships will take nine fin whales, an endangered species, and 30 minke whales each year, which they say won't threaten the whale population.

Some groups say they will challenge the decision in international courts.

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A whale

Not everyone in Iceland agrees about whaling. Viljar, a schoolboy from the country, told us: "I think it's wrong. Some of them are endangered. They are very beautiful and shouldn't be hunted."

But Johanna said: "It's bad if we hunt a lot, but it's ok if we only hunt a couple."

A number of countries already hunt whales for scientific research.

Norway is the only nation which already hunts whales to make money, known as commercial whaling.

Animal conservation groups say there aren't enough whales in the sea to support whaling and the way whales are killed is cruel.