Whale Hunting Season Is Over - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Whale Hunting Season Is Over

Published September 30, 2015

Photo by
Timothy Baker

The whale hunting season has officially concluded, with 184 whales in all harpooned in Icelandic waters.

RÚV reports that 155 fin whales were culled, exceeding the season’s quota by one. At the same time, the quota allowed for 275 minke whales, but only 29 of them were culled.

Kristján Loftsson, the director of whaling company Hvalur hf., told reporters that his company had never before succeeded in filling the fin whale quota. At the same time, the number of minke whales appears to be declining. 24 minke whales were culled last year, compared to 81 in 2009.

Kristján’s fin whale hunting has made him the subject of international attention. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has slammed him for a shipment of some 1,700 tonnes of fin whale meat that his company sent to Japan. This prompted the creation of a petition – signed by over a million people so far – urging St. Kitts to revoke its flag of convenience from Winter Bay, the ship carrying said fin whale meat.

The attention, and the petition in particular, put Kristján on the defensive, casting aspersions on the veracity of the petition, but Avaaz was quick to respond.

In point of fact, the Guardian called Avaaz “the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network”. Kristján may also have reason to worry about Avaaz, as in 2013 they successfully convinced the Dutch government to stop letting ships carrying whale meat from docking in Holland.

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