Iceland Renews Its Law To Permit Commercial Whaling

Iceland has announced that it will continue to permit the commercial killing of whales. Last year Iceland faced international condemnation for the slaughter of 146 fin whales and 6 minke whales over a 98 day hunting period.

fin whale

By Aqqa Rosing-Asvid – Visit Greenland (Flickr: Finhval) via Wikimedia Commons

Hvalur hf (Whale Inc. ) company Iceland Kills Blue Whale

Whales “Meet us don’t eat us” Controversy

The law in Iceland was renewed this year to allow commercial whaling to continue. Commercial whalers in Iceland will be permitted to kill 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales every year until 2023. Since 2006 Icelandic whalers have killed 851 fin whales.

In 1982 the International Whaling Commission banned the commercial whaling of all whale species. A ban that is still in place.

International Whaling Commission –  List of Commercial Catches Please note that these figures are for the commercial whaling that is declared.

One of Iceland’s richest men Kristjan Loftsson runs the commercial whaling company Hvalur hf. selling most of the meat to the Japanese market. It is not eaten much by Icelanders although it is popular with many tourists.

Tourism has been growing in Iceland particularly with whale watching guided tours. This profitable industry will be at risk if there is a considerable backlash on Iceland’s decision to continue with commercial whaling.

There are many politicians and commentators  in Scotland who praise the Nordic nations in particular those of Iceland  and Norway – both commercial whaling nations. They use those nations as examples for Scotland to emulate but usually leave out the information about commercial whaling.

Other countries which hunt whales are: Canada, Greenland, The Faroes, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Russia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame


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6 replies »

  1. Are we living in some kind of time-warp? Everything shows us, that we can’t carry on exploiting the world as we have done. There was a realization of this fact, laws were put in place, and then…….the time-warp steps in, and we move backwards.
    Not only on animal welfare, but also on pay and conditions of service in the workplace, and housing standards.
    What is going on?

    On this specific issue – as well as the entire …….wrongness… of the whaling enterprise, what happens when folk have gone along on a whale watching trip, because they appreciate the life we share this planet with – a profitable, yet harmless enterprise, and they, possibly, come across scenes of slaughter?

    Kristjan Loftsson – you should be ashamed of yourself – you’ve got a lot of money – use it in a more worthwhile manner.

    • Well said Bernie, as usual. Not long after end of WW2 my mates dad who was Chief Engineer on the Salveson factory ship, ‘Southern Garden’ brought home some whale meat as meat was still rationed. Now maybe my mam didn’t cook in properly but I know that I didn’t like it and have never tasted nor do I want to try it again.

  2. I’ve never tasted it, but imagine it to be oily, and probably strongly fishy – you are what you eat. Needs must, and when people needed to hunt whales for food – fair enough. Also, there were less people. Now there are more people, and therefore, more demand for food, but not such a need to hunt, especially creatures which are not so plentiful as they were. If it is the case, that the meat is mostly for export, then it probably is for expensive restaurants, for people who want to show off. So, for some daft people to show off, these creatures, have to die. Makes no sense.

    • Like you there are some people who for them ‘whale meat’ is about the only meat, apart from seals, they ever get. However with supply chains for food distribution reaching into the high arctic whaling is now un-necessary. As for what’s his name from Iceland exporting to Japan I have one word, ‘GREED’.

  3. Mike and I were talking about this, and he remembered his Mum saying that, in the war, they were given something called ‘snook’ to eat, and were told it was meat – it was whale meat. She remembered that it tasted horrible, and that, however you cooked it, whatever you did with it, it was still horrible.
    ‘Needs must, when the devil drives’ – but the need isn’t there, now.

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