Whaling Resumes This Summer

Words by

Published May 6, 2013

The whaling fleet Hvalur hf. will resume commercial hunting of fin whales this summer after a two year break, company director Kristján Loftsson confirmed to Vísir last week. 
According to Kristján, his company will begin whaling in early June and continue until the end of September. Two boats, Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9, and 150 workers will see to the operation. The company has a yearly quota to hunt between 150-170 fin whales, which are listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List. 
Commercial whaling was revived in Iceland in 2009 when Einar K. Guðfinnsson, then Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture passed a controversial law granting whaling vessels to hunt fin and minke whales for the next five years. The current license thus expires at the end of the 2013 season.   
The key market for whale caught in Icelandic waters is Japan, where some 2000 tons of whale meat was exported between 2008-2011. During the following two years, Hvalur hf. suspended its operations at sea due to a decline in Japanese demand after the 2011 Tsunami. While Kristján claims the demand for whale meat is now again on the rise in Japan, he does not say how much he expects to sell. In 2010 Hvalur hf. is reported to have killed 150 fin whales.
Animal welfare and conservation groups have expressed concern over Iceland’s most recent disregard for the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) ban on commercial whaling, Animal Connection reports. They are urging European and US leaders to impose tougher diplomatic sanctions on Iceland for persisting to hunt the endangered fin whale.
A representative of Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) maintains that Iceland’s hunting of whales is unnecessary and cruel not least because few Icelanders regularly consume the minke whale that is sold domestically. She claims it is mostly sold as a novelty to tourists.

 



News
City Council Person: I Should Have Googled Better

City Council Person: I Should Have Googled Better

by

The Progressive Party City Council Person, Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir, admitted on Kastljós last night that appointing PEGIDA Supporter, Gústaf Níelsson,

News
New Web Series Pokes Fun At Icelanders And Tourists

New Web Series Pokes Fun At Icelanders And Tourists

by

A new web series called Cloud of Ash has just been released for your viewing pleasure. Set in today’s tourism

News
Eagle Spotted Over Reykjavík

Eagle Spotted Over Reykjavík

by

Some capital area residents were treated to a rare sight this morning, when a white-tailed eagle was spotted flying over

News
Foreigners Needed To Work In Tourist Industry

Foreigners Needed To Work In Tourist Industry

by

Iceland will need to hire more foreign workers in order to keep up with the rapidly growing tourism industry, says

News
Rent In Reykjavík Has Almost Doubled

Rent In Reykjavík Has Almost Doubled

by

Rent in the capital has nearly doubled in the last four years and higher prices are putting pressure on young

News
Bring Da Ruckus: Wu-Tang Clan Coming To Iceland

Bring Da Ruckus: Wu-Tang Clan Coming To Iceland

by

The Wu-Tang Clan will be stopping in Iceland in June as a part of their European tour, reports Vísir. According

Show Me More!