MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, December 3rd 2022 - 12:38 UTC

 

 

Iceland to end commercial whaling by 2024 and plans to further promote whales' sightseeing

Saturday, February 5th 2022 - 09:33 UTC
Full article
Iceland is one of the only countries that allow commercial whaling, along with Norway and Japan Iceland is one of the only countries that allow commercial whaling, along with Norway and Japan

Iceland will end commercial whaling by 2024, announced Fisheries minister Svandis Svavarsdottir in a piece published in the Reykjavik daily Morgunbladid. The lawmaker representing the ruling coalition led by the Left Greens said, “there are few justifications to authorize the whale hunt beyond 2024,” adding “there is little proof that there is any economic advantage to this activity”.

Iceland is one of the only countries that allow commercial whaling, along with Norway and Japan. The practice frequently draws the attention and anger of environmentalists and animal rights activists.

However Icelandic whalers have seen little activity in the past three years, with only one whale having been killed during that time frame.

One of the favored targets, the fin whale — which is only second in size to the blue whale — is an endangered species. The annual quota for Icelandic whalers for this species is 209, but they have not come close to catching this many for years.

Allegedly the return of Japan to whaling in 2019, following three decades of no hunting, decreased the demand for Icelandic-caught whales in the Asian country. The loss of this key market meant Iceland's whalers have found it increasingly difficult to justify the costs of an expedition.

A no-fishing coastal zone has also meant that the few boats that still make the trip are having to travel further into the Atlantic Ocean, raising costs.

Norway has had a similar experience, with fewer whalers and smaller catches. In 2021, Norwegian boats harpooned 575 whales, less than half their allotted quota.

At the same time, Iceland has seen a boom in its tourist industry as hundreds of thousands of people flock to witness the creatures swim in the waters off the Atlantic isl/and.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!