The whaling vessel Hafsteinn SK, shot the first minke whale of the season yesterday, Vísir reports.
The whale was shot outside the so-called whale watching periphery in Faxaflói and brought to shore for processing yesterday. According to RÚV, the animal measured nine metres in length and seven tons in weight.
The minke whaling season is set to continue over a period of six months from the time the first animal has been killed. The quota, which allows for the killing of 216 minke whales, has not been reached in recent years.
Gunnar Bergmann, the owner of Hafsteinn SK, says his company aims to hunt between 50 and 70 minke whales this year. Hafsteinn SK reportedly killed 53 last year, but Gunnar claims they still did not meet the demand of the domestic market.
While minke whales are not considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and some, including local composer Ben Frost, argue that hunting it represents a sustainable industry, both local and international opposition has emerged against the resumption of commercial whaling in Iceland this summer, particularly due to the allowance provided for hunting the endangered fin whale.
Related Grapevine story here.