The Minke Whalers’ Association urges Icelandic authorities to permit whaling of humpbacks.
Sverrir Daníel Halldórsson, whales specialist at the Marine Research Institute, told Fréttablaðið that it would be sensible to allow killing of humpbacks for scientific reasons, which would align with research and count of the humpback population.
“But it would have to be a political decision,” Sverrir added, saying it would take a few years to carry out research on humpbacks.
Gunnar Bergmann, manager of the Minke Whalers’ Association, claimed it’s necessary to study the population of humpbacks. If whaling of humpbacks was to be carried out for five years or so, it would provide enough data for consultancy regarding whaling.
“It would only have to be ten humpbacks a year and I think everybody knows that that would not affect the population,” Gunnar said.
Sverrir stated that the number of humpbacks by Iceland had increased over the last few years and signs that the minke whales were moving over to other areas. Whalers had noted that when they sailed around the country and caught very few minke whales but noticed a lot of humpbacks, especially off the north coast.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, no requests for humpbacks whaling had been submitted and therefore the minister couldn’t comment on the matter yet.