The Icelandic whaling industry had ceased its activities in 2019 and 2020. The hunting season usually begins in June, but the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has recorded no activity. He says with relief that “it now seems obvious that for the third year in a row the sea giants will not fall prey to harpoons in Iceland“.
Icelanders are not crazy about whale meat
Fine whale meat, a vulnerable species according to international union for nature protection, since 2013, Icelandic whalers have exported to Japan. A market that has never taken off according to IFAW. The meat of another species of whale, called the mink whale, concerns the national market and was sold more to tourists than to Icelanders. “The latest survey commissioned by IFAW found that Icelanders don’t like whale meat, and only 1 percent say they eat it regularly“, explains the NGO from Statement published on June 15, 2021. The campaign run by the latter among tourist resorts drastically reduced sales to the point that whalers gave up. “In 2020, the Icelandic Whalers’ Association Minke recognized the futility of their hunting and stopped its bloody activity.“, notes Sharon Livermore, Director of Marine Protection at IFAW.
Only one whaling company in Iceland
In 2021, fin whales will be as quiet as mink whales. Iceland’s newest whaling company is visibly improving its business. “We are a hair’s breadth from the final end of whaling in Iceland, hopes Sharon Livermore, quoted in the statement. Now only Kristjan Loftsson and his fin whaling company, Hvalur hf. Under quota regulations, he is still allowed to kill fin whales, which he has not done since 2018. Unfortunately, Loftsson may still go whaling next year to keep a new one. Quota for the next five yearsBut would there be any benefit if Japanese consumers avoid exporting meat? Furthermore, according to IFAW, the younger generations in Iceland no longer need to be convinced of the need to maintain sustainable whale populations., They seem to be aware that these sea giants represent valuable capital for the climate.
Since 2003, Icelandic whalers have killed more than 1,500 fin and mink whales. That year, the country resumed this activity after a 13-year hiatus. They are developing now whale watching, whale watching from ships. This activity attracts more than 350,000 people to the country each year and generates 20 million euros a year. According to International Monetary Fund, industry whale watching weighs $ 2 billion worldwide.