From Iceland — Chief Icelandic Whaler Believes Australia Should Start Whaling, Too

Chief Icelandic Whaler Believes Australia Should Start Whaling, Too

Published July 27, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Kristján Loftsson (pictured left), Iceland’s primary whaler, believes Australia should stop opposing whaling and start hunting humpback whales.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Kristján – who is the director of Iceland’s largest whaling company, Hvalur hf. – spoke frankly about his outlook on whaling. Amongst other things, he considers the humpback whale to be a “nuisance” and thinks Aussies should start hunting them.

“You have about 30,000 humpbacks in Australia going up the east coast. Thirty thousand animals travelling back and forth and they increase maybe 10 per cent a year. They’re a nuisance,” he said. “They are talking about it: ‘Oh, we have to stop the ship traffic’. In 10 years’ time it will be 60,000. You will have to close the port of Brisbane and make everybody bankrupt. [There will be] more strandings of whales all over the place in Australia. It’s ridiculous thinking.”

Kristján was evasive as to whether whaling even generates any money (and as the managing director of fishing giant HB Grandi, Kristján has plenty of money without it), describing the revenue as “OK. It’s not digging a gold mine or anything.” But on what he thinks about what others think about whaling, he was more direct.

“I don’t care less. I went whaling myself in Australia once in 1977, out of Albany. All these guys in the [International] Whaling Commission … haven’t a clue what they are talking about,” he said. “Where is this fucking world opinion [against whaling]? Have you ever seen an opinion poll taken around the world? And who likes being told what to do? You don’t like that in Australia. Like this climate [change] talk: your prime minister, he doesn’t care less. I like that. He’s my man.”

As reported, Hvalur hf. has already begun its hunting season of endangered fin whales, with a full quota of 137.

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