The hunting of fin whales this summer will likely be canceled, due primarily to financial reasons.
As reported, Kristján Loftsson, the director of Iceland’s sole whaling company, Hvalur hf., was reportedly recently in Japan talking with buyers there about purchasing Icelandic fin whale meat. The whale hunt in Japan has been poor this year, with only one-fourth of their quota filled.
While the hunting of fin whales violates international law, and even US president Barack Obama has suggested action could be taken against Iceland if the hunt begins again, financial troubles are what is preventing the fin whale cull this year, RÚV reports.
Kristján says that he is not able to meet the demands of the Seamen’s Society of Iceland, which is asking for his company to compensate its employees for the cuts the government has made to the tax breaks afforded to seamen. He added furthermore that the market for fin whale meat in Japan has still not stabilised. With these factors in mind, there will likely be no hunt this year.
The original plan was to hunt 60 to 70 fin whales this summer, which would have provided 3 months of employment to 100 people, he adds.