From Iceland — Company Aims To Hunt Whales This Summer

Company Aims To Hunt Whales This Summer

Published March 23, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Despite reports that the commercial fin whaling enterprise in Iceland is drawing to a close, Morgunblaðið reports that Hvalur hf., the last fin whaling company in Iceland, is planning to go on the hunt again this summer.

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Hvalur has not gone whaling for three years running, and as recently as 2020 its CEO, Kristján Loftsson, was saying that the company would have to shutter its doors after several major investors asked to be bought out.

Now Kristján is saying that the market for whaling products is good, and he is planning on beginning the hunt from June through September, with some 150 people working on the operations.

What future fin whaling has beyond that is as yet unknown. Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Svandís Svavarsdóttir said just last month that she expected commercial whaling in Iceland would cease altogether by 2024.

In fact, the current license to hunt whales will expire in 2023, and the Minister will then decide whether or not to simply stop issuing whaling licenses from 2024 onwards. She has argued that there is little demand for whaling products, and that the industry does next to nothing for Iceland’s economy. At the same time, whale watching is still a booming industry, with some 364,000 people whale watching in 2019 alone.

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