The practice of whaling continues to receive increasing pushback, as a petition signed by both locals and tourists in Iceland has beaten the previous records, thus calling on the state authorities to end whaling once and for all.
In a statement to the press, The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) announced that the milestone was reach at the end of August. At that time, the number of signatures on IFAW’s ongoing anti-whaling petition passed 100,000 threshold. Patric Ramage, IFAW’s Global Whale Programme Director, comments, believes the results show a definitive response.
“These 100,000 signatures send a clear message to the Icelandic government that visiting tourists, as well as many Icelanders, believe whales should be seen and not hurt,” he said in a statement. “We urge the Icelandic government to respond to this petition, to call an end to this outdated practice and instead support the country’s whale watching industry which is better for whales and for the coastal communities who benefit from this only sustainable ‘use’ of whales.”
A total of 46 minke whales have so far been harpooned in Icelandic waters this summer.
IFAW has done several campaigns in the name of whale protection here in Iceland. One of them, called ‘Meet Us Don’t Eat Us’, began five years ago to discourage tourists from ordering whale meat in Icelandic restaurants during their stay here. In addition, the creation of a “whale-friendly restaurant” database has also been successful.
The IFAW is one of the largest animal welfare charities in the world, and the group has fought for whale protection in Iceland since 2003.