Puffins Being Shot By British Trophy Hunters - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Puffins Being Shot By British Trophy Hunters

Published July 29, 2019

Activists and MPs in the UK are demanding that imports of puffin-hunting trophies be banned, as an effort to end the practice.

Hunters from the UK are increasingly coming to Iceland to lay waste to the cute critters, as killing puffins is completely illegal in their home country.

puffin

Silly colourful beaks

Asked for comment, this journalist’s 80 year old neighbour was shocked and confused when presented with the fact that Britons are going after the easily dispatched dumpy little things with rifles. After all, the fluffy fowl with their silly colourful beaks have traditionally been easily caught in hand-held nets, hence their precarious status. Their bodies are also quite small, so messing up the meat with bullets sounds like a tremendous waste, he concluded.

This explains why a hunter can bag up to a hundred of the nonsensical-nosed nuggets in a day or two, as it’s not really much of a sport at all. They just sit there.

puffin

Cartoon avain goofballs

The puffin stock in Iceland has decreased tremendously since 2003, or by 1.5 million. This year there has been an upswing, but Erpur Snær Hansen of the south Iceland Nature Institute, in conversation with RÚV News, said it’s unknown if this is a sign of an ongoing stock recovery or a statistical blip.

The hunting of these odd cartoon avian goofballs is banned in all parts of Iceland except the North. According to Erpur Snær, the ban has had a positive impact on the population. He also notes that the limited availability of puffin meat has pushed up prices. This means that the traditional consumers of the meat eat it much less. The main market now is restaurants that cater to tourists with tastes for the exotic.

Read more about the travails of this popular but ridiculous jester-bird, aka the puffin, here.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Book your day tours in Iceland right here!

Go travel with Grapevine tried and recommended tours by Grapevine. Fund Grapevine journalism by booking with us.


Show Me More!