There have been a few attempts in previous IWC meetings to establish middlegroups, but every time it has failed. If it fails again this time in Chile,then the IWC will be dead, in a sense.FNI: How did the political failure of the Icelandic return to whalingreverberate in Japan?JM: Of course they talked to us about it; this time the decision was madenot to give another commercial whaling quota, but that does not mean thatthey have quit commercial whaling.Like other fisheries activities, they decide the size of the quota takinginto account economic factors and other situations.It is no secret that we are talking with them about international trade,which is not completed yet. However, the Icelandic government has decided towait and see what happens with our negotiations and see how that developsbefore they issue an initial quota.In Iceland, like us, their basic position is that whale hunting is nothingdifferent from any other fishery or seafood. In the seafood business it isquite normal to take fish and export for the economy.It doesn't make sense that exporting fish is OK, but exporting whale meat isnot OK. They keep saying that they would like to normalise whale and whaletrading, just like any other seafood trading.FNI: What do you see as normalising whaling?JM: By normalisation I mean that whaling should be structured like any other fishery, with quota. They might take the entire quota or half the quota,depending on the situation.Also, they might choose to sell the product domestically or abroad, to Japanor Norway or other countries.Last year they had already conducted some trading between Norway andIceland.In our case the supply is still limited as it is a by-product of our research activities.FNI: What is the demand for whale products in Japan?JM: In 1962 the domestic market was largest, at that time 200,030 tonnesconsumed. The by-product from research and small scale domestic whalingconsumed annually is now around 7000 tonnes. It is only 2/3% of 40 yearsago.I am not saying that 2% should go back to 100%, but the sense of many peoplein Japan is that there is the potential demand several times larger than6-7000 tonnes. In Japan, we have been eating whale meat and utilising whalebackbones, blubber and oil for more than 9000 years.FNI: How to you respond to the green lobby attitude that whales areendangered and should not be hunted?JM: Many species and stocks of whales are abundant, increasing andrecovering from past over harvesting.