Environmental Minister Wants To Protect The Puffins - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Environmental Minister Wants To Protect The Puffins

Published September 25, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

In response to recent data showing troublingly low numbers of Iceland’s iconic seabird, Minister for the Environment Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson is looking into ways to protect the puffin and related species from hunting, Vísir reports.

“I asked for more data on the population size of puffins and related species, to assess matters as they pertain to current legislation,” Guðmundur told reporters. “Although it is within our power to lead, it is for example harder to respond to the effects of climate change on the feeding stocks of these birds. I believe we need to take some kind of action regarding these species, especially the puffin, which is in grave danger.”

In fact, in the autumn of 2018, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History released a report placing puffins in the second to most endangered category; the only category beneath it is extinction.

As such, the current law pertaining to the hunting of individual species is being reviewed. As it stands now, Icelandic law outlines that all animals are protected by default, unless they are expressly allowed to be hunted within the law, and even then there are quotas placed on the size of culls.

The review of this law is expected to get underway next spring, with final results pending, most likely during the spring parliamentary session.

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