Fin Whales "Can Swim Safe" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Fin Whales “Can Swim Safe”

Published February 26, 2016

Photos by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

The organisers behind a global petition against fin whaling in Iceland have claimed victory, as a major whaling station will close for the summer.

Kristján Loftsson – head of Iceland’s largest whaling company, Hvalur hf. – conceded defeat yesterday, announcing that his company would not be hunting any fin whales this year. This does not rule out the possibility that smaller whales, such as minke whales, may be hunted – but if they are, it will be by a company other than Hvalur hf., as MBL reports their whaling station will be closed this summer.

Yesteday, the online campaign organisation Avaaz contacted Grapevine to respond to the news of the end of fin whale hunting.

“This summer, Iceland’s majestic fin whales can swim safe from the threat of being murdered and butchered,” Avaaz campaign director Danny Auron told us. “Kristján Loftsson was dead-set on continuing the hunt but millions of voices from around the world joined together to disrupt his trade, and it worked. It looks like fin whalers are on the verge of extinction in Iceland, instead of fin whales.”

Avaaz was amongst the many forces pushing back against Hvalur hf., with a global petition calling upon St. Kitts to withdraw their “flag of convenience” from a ship carrying fin whale meat to Japan.

While Kristján has in the past dismissed the petition as a “joke”, it has gathered over a million signatures at the time of this writing.

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