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Whale Hunting Delayed Until Summer’s End

Whale Hunting Delayed Until Summer’s End

Published May 10, 2011

There will be no whale hunting conducted in Iceland this year until late August, although it won’t be due to complaints from whale watching companies.
Whale hunters and whale watching tour companies have long taken issue with each other, as they happen to both see their largest spike in activity in the summer time. Although whale hunting and whale watching areas have been more clearly delineated, whale watchers – among many other Icelanders – still maintain that the practice has a negative impact on Iceland’s image abroad.
One compromise that has been proposed in the past has been to allow for whale hunting in the fall or spring, instead of summer. This year, whale hunting will not kick off until late autumn, although the reason has nothing to do with concerns for Iceland’s tourists.
Rather, Skessuhorn reports, the delay is due to the devastating tsunami and earthquake which struck Japan last March. Amidst the destruction, a processing plant for whale meat from Hvalfjörður was badly damaged, and can therefore not receive any imports from Iceland.
Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the project manager of the whaling station in Hvalfjörður, said that having to push back the start of whaling season to an undetermined time was a big disappointment for everyone, saying also that it has not just been the natural disaster itself but national grieving that has kept people for the most part indoors in Japan. Skessuhorn added that work at the Hvalfjörður plant has provided employment for 25 people in the region.



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Ice Cave Construction Underway

Ice Cave Construction Underway

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A 500 metre long ice cave is currently being tunnelled into Iceland’s Langjökull glacier. So far the crew have dug the cave’s entrance, roughly 200 metres into the glacier and are experimenting with how to light the tunnel. Plans are to turn the cave into a tourist destination where visitors can learn about glacial formations and potentially, even get married. “In the tunnel there’ll be a room,” said Sigurður Skarphéðinsson, CEO of the Ice Cave Iceland project. “We like to call it the multipurpose room and there, in cooperation with others, we’ll be able to offer people the chance to

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Head To Toe Arsenal Gear, Except At Funerals

Head To Toe Arsenal Gear, Except At Funerals

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Hardcore Icelandic Arsenal fan, Sigfríð Ingólfsdóttir, only ever wears Arsenal gear or Arsenal themed clothing, reports Vikudagur, except when she has to attend funerals. Sigfríð, 62, began following English football 30 years ago and first started supporting Arsenal after thinking the name of the team was pretty neat. She has since become one of Arsenal’s most dedicated fans in Iceland, has an “Arsenal Room” in her home, and is regularly stopped to discuss games. “I get stopped out on the street, people like to talk to me about Arsenal and football in general,” said Sigfríð. “Some of them are on

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A Farewell To Arms

A Farewell To Arms

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The MP5 submachine guns Iceland received from Norway will be sent back, the Icelandic Coast Guard has announced. According to the announcement, posted today on the Coast Guard’s website, the conclusion of talks with the Norwegian army yesterday and today led to the decision to return the guns, which have been held by toll authorities over the past few weeks. Customs officials held onto the guns on account of a dispute over whether the guns were a gift or a purchase. The Icelandic Coast Guard contends that “almost all the weapons in possession of the Icelandic Coast Guard (90%) have

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Minister Of The Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir To Resign

Minister Of The Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir To Resign

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Minister of the Interior, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, is expected to announce that she is stepping down today and will not return to parliament until the New Year, according to RÚV. Hanna Birna has been under a lot of scrutiny following the leak of incriminating and falsified information about Nigerion asylum seeker Tony Omos. She has maintained her innocence throughout the affair, even after her aide Gísli Freyr Valdórsson admitted to the leak. Despite the Independence party and PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson declaring their support of her, a lot of pressure has been on her to resign, including from the 1,000 people that

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Pressan Acquires Newspaper DV

Pressan Acquires Newspaper DV

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Vefpressan, the publishing company behind such websites as Pressan.is, Eyjan.is and Bleikt.is, has acquired 70% of newspaper DV’s stocks. This was announced this Friday morning. Björn Ingi Hrafnsson, once a member of Reykjavík city council on behalf of the Progressive Party, has been titled as DV’s publisher. This comes following turbulence among the owners and board of DV, which saw former editor Reynir Traustason discharged. Hallgrímur Thorsteinsson was hired as editor in his place. Björn Ingi has not revealed his intentions or plans regarding the purchase. Vefpressan’s news release merely explains that the publishing of DV has now been “secured”

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Increased Use Of Antidepressants

Increased Use Of Antidepressants

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Anxiety and antidepressants are prescribed 70% more often in Iceland than 10 years ago and Icelanders consume more antidepressants than any other OECD nation, reports RÚV. According to the Directorate of Health, in 2013 39,000 people were prescribed antidepressants and 34,000 people were prescribed sleeping aids at least once. The most commonly used sleeping pill in Iceland is Zopiclone. The Directorate of Health wrote that Zopiclone should not be used for longer than 2-4 weeks but that many Icelanders are getting prescriptions that last much longer than that, in some cases, even years.

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