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
Finance Minister Emphasises Elections “In Late October”

Finance Minister Emphasises Elections “In Late October”

by

Contrary to what his partner in the ruling coalition has said, Minister of Finance and Independence Party chairperson Bjarni Benediktsson

News
Are You An Inside Demon? Innipúkinn Festival Is Here

Are You An Inside Demon? Innipúkinn Festival Is Here

by

The Merchant’s Weekend is a national summer holiday, taking place this year July 30-August 1, when Reykvíkingar pile into cars

News
Icelandic Tour Bus Company Offers Pokémon Go Hunting Trips

Icelandic Tour Bus Company Offers Pokémon Go Hunting Trips

by

If you like Pokémon Go, Reykjavík Excursions has your back. The popular tour bus company has announced that for the

News
Blood Donations Needed For Merchants’ Weekend Holiday

Blood Donations Needed For Merchants’ Weekend Holiday

by

With the approach of a 3-day weekend, Blood Donation in Iceland has sent out the call. Vísir reports that the

News
Ex-PM Casts Aspersions On Panama Papers

Ex-PM Casts Aspersions On Panama Papers

by

Former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has questioned the veracity of the Panama Papers which led to his resignation. RÚV

News
Naked Man Emerges From The Sea

Naked Man Emerges From The Sea

by

The Grapevine has received photos of some particularly foolhardy behaviour at the notorious Reynisfjara beach. Photographer Frank Tschöpe contacted The

Show Me More!