About 60 volunteers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are expected to arrive this summer, to talk to Icelanders and tourists alike about the downsides of whale hunting.
Vísir reports that some 4,000 Icelanders and foreign guests have signed a statement pledging to not eat whale meat, while encouraging the end of the practice of whale hunting. Representatives from the IFAW and the Whale Watching Association of Iceland delivered the signatures, written on individual postcards with the aforementioned statement, to the Ministry of Industries and Innovation.
IFAW representatives have been visiting Iceland every summer since 2011, encouraging people to eat only at restaurants marked “Whale Friendly”, while engaging in conversations with locals and tourists about whaling.
“What we need to do is work within Iceland. Wagging the finger might make you feel good, but it doesn’t work,” UK IFAW Director Rob Marsland told Grapevine in 2011. “Over the last eight years, we have tried to participate in a debate on the wisdom of whaling. It has been patient work, involving not being aggressive, and being reasonable.”
As reported, tensions between Iceland and the US have increased over the practice of hunting endangered fin whales.