Hvalur hf., the only company in Iceland that hunts fin whales, has announced that they will not be killing whales this summer, saying that their whaling license arrived too late for them to finish repairing their boats in time.
“There will be no whaling season for us,” the captain of whaling ship Hvalur 9 Ólafur Ólafsson told Stöð 2. “So [the whales] will get to swim in peace around the country. We’ll take it easy in the meanwhile.”
The presence of Esperanza, a ship from Greenpeace in Reykjavík harbour, which had vowed to follow the whaling fleets this summer has nothing to do with this decision, he said. Rather, Ólafur contends the obstacle to the hunt was entirely logistical.
“The permit just came so late,” he said. “It didn’t arrive until late February, and spare parts need to be ordered. That takes six to eight weeks, as much as ten weeks, and then the ships need to be worked on. By that time, the hunting season is over.”
As reported, the Ministry of Fisheries had issued a permit to Hvalur hf. to hunt fin whales through 2023, with the quota based on a research paper of questionable methodology.
While numerous companies hunt the smaller and more plentiful minke whales, Hvalur hf. is the last company in Iceland to hunt endangered fin whales, despite the total absence of a domestic market and highly limited market overseas.
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