Fin whaling boats have launched to begin to hunt, at a time when a massive petition seeks to halt the sale of Icelandic fin whale meat overseas.
MBL reports that Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9 have left for sea, with a quota of 150 fin whales to fill. The quota is still greater than the number of fin whales that were successfully hunted last year – in 2014, 137 fin whales were hunted, out of a quota of 154.
The hunt begins at a time when international attention has been focused on some 1,700 tonnes of fin whale meat on a ship, Winter Bay, heading to Japan from Iceland.
This shipment has attracted the attention of numerous animal rights and environmentalist groups, who have implored US President Barack Obama to impose trade sanctions against Icelandic over the shipment. At the same time, a petition calling upon St Kitt’s to remove Winter Bay’s flag of convenience has reached over 740,000 signatures at the time of this writing.