As Iceland celebrated its 70th year of independence yesterday, the first two whales of the season were caught and skinned
The first two whales of the season were caught yesterday, reports RÚV.
A 62-foot long fin whale was caught by Hvalur 8 yesterday afternoon and was summarily skinned upon arrival at the whaling station in Hvalfjörður, north of the capital.
The second whale was caught shortly thereafter by Hvalur 9.
As reported, whale hunting season has kicked off and will continue on for the next three months. Last year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture established a quota of 154 fin whales, a species that the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals has categorised as in danger of extinction. Eleven minke whales – which are not endangered – have been hunted so far this year in Faxaflói Bay, out of a quota of 229.
Increased international pressure has been mounting against Iceland for its whaling activities including a recent snub at the hands of US Secretary of State John Kerry who did not invite Icelandic representatives to the international ocean sustainability conference, Our Ocean.
Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson maintains that “[Iceland’s] image is unblemished when it comes to sustainable use, and we are using the products of whaling in a sustainable matter.”