Tourism is reportedly driving up the demand for minke whale meat to such an extent that this year’s quota will be greater than last year’s. This is despite one whaling company operating at a loss in 2015.
Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, the managing director of IP-útgerð og IP-drefing ehf., which hunts minke whales, told RÚV that a significant demand by tourists for minke whale meat in Icelandic restaurants will most likely require his company to hunt more minke whales than last year.
46 minke whales were hunted last year, up from 30 the year before. In both years, demand was so great that minke whale meat from Norway needed to be imported.
Restaurants buy about 60% of the minke whale meat sold in Iceland, and about 100 restaurants in Iceland sell it. DV reports that IP-útgerð operated at a loss of about 7 million ISK in 2015, but Gunnar says the situation has since rectified.