The Whale Watching Association of Iceland claims whale hunters were
operating within plain sight of whale watchers, in violation of a
directive made by the Ministry of Fisheries this spring.
The website of the Society of Whalers claims it culled three minke whales from Faxaflói bay, near Reykjavík, yesterday. The Whale Watching Association of Iceland says a whale watching expedition, who had left port in Reykjavík at 17:00 hours, spotted the hunting boats culling whales at 21:00, very near to the whale watching area. They add that it has been difficult lately to spot minke whales in the harbor, which they attribute to whales avoiding boats.
“The Whale Watching Associaton of Iceland emphasises that hunting and whale watching cannot go together,” says a statement from the group in part “These animals are the foundation for tourist companies being able to maintain operations.”
The Ministry of Fisheries allowed the whale cull this year, but drew up a controversial map designating whale hunting and whale watching areas. Whale watching groups are already unhappy with the demarkations, which they believe inordinately favor whale hunters.