From Iceland — Puffin Hunting In The Westman Islands Shortened Again This Year

Puffin Hunting In The Westman Islands Shortened Again This Year

Published July 1, 2021

Alina Maurer
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Good news for the local puffins of the Westman Islands!

The Environment and Planning Council of the Westman Islands proposed that puffin hunting will only be allowed for one week this year. Last year, the hunting season also lasted for a single week. Puffin hunting will be allowed from August 7th to 15th.

Controversial tradition

The hunting of puffins is an ancient tradition in the Westman Islands. In previous years, puffin hunting could last up to 46 days, and the council states that the hunt is used to maintain the culture that accompanies it and general outdoor life on the island. Though according to Fréttablaðið, a moderation of hunting the sea birds is requested.

Náttúrustofa Suðurlands had previously recommended the permission of hunting puffins this year, even though the puffin population has decreased by 45% over the last 17 years in Iceland. Low reproduction and food shortages have led to declining in puffin stock. Therefore hunting puffins is considered ecologically unsustainable.

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