2020 will mark the second year in a row that no whales will be hunted for profit. Hvalur hf. announced that they do not intend to operate this summer, RÚV reports.
Since the Japanese government subsidises whale products, CEO of Hvalur Kristján Loftsson said that it would be too difficult to compete. Furthermore, he said that there are a number of requirements for testing and chemical analysis, which do not exist in Japan.
In addition, Kristján said that although it would have been possible to enter the market in Japan, it would be virtually impossible to process the meat in Iceland due to the social distancing restrictions. The butchers work in such close proximity that if they were to operate, they would need to quarantine together.
Even though this is the second year in a row that there has been no for-profit whaling, research is being conducted, which investigates whether the whales’ iron-rich meat can be used in dietary supplements for people suffering from anemia. The company is also investigating whether bone gelatin and whale fat can be used as a medicine or a food preservative.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!