Iceland approves killing 100 fin whales

NEWS AND OPINION: Iceland has approved the killing of nearly 100 whales after they had briefly suspended whaling because of welfare concerns. Of course, animal campaigners have criticised the Icelandic fishing ministry’s decision to issue a licence to the Icelander’s last whaling company. That company is called ‘Hvalur hf’ and they’ll be allowed to kill 99 fin whales during the hunting season which lasts until September.

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Whaling. A fictional image for effect. The image is free to use under a Creative Commons license. Click on it to see it full size and download that.

Clare Perry, of the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency said that “This will badly tarnish Icelander’s international image”.

The director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Patrick Ramage said: “The world has been watching Iceland, waiting for its government to end whaling once and for all. While the numbers and quota period are significantly reduced, slaughtering 99 more whales makes no sense.”

More than four decades ago there was an international ban on commercial whaling. Japan, Norway and Iceland have continued whaling with Japan adding fin whales to its list.

Last June Iceland suspended whaling and campaigners welcomed the move when ministers indicated that the practice would end this year.

The decision to end whaling apparently was based upon the country’s Food and Veterinary Authority which found that hunted whales were suffering for so long that it breached the country’s animal welfare laws.

The suspension has proved to be short lived. Under strict rules, in August, the country open the door to future whaling. The new licence is valid for 2024 and allows 128 whales to be hunted.

The amount hunted will be fewer as the company concerned will be targeting the 99 in the Greenland and West Iceland region. Readers should know that fin whales are classified as vulnerable under the Red List which is an organisation which assesses the vulnerability of species to extinction. In my view it is a questionable organisation which I think does not always wholly focus on conservation and is sometimes influenced by pressure groups.

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1 thought on “Iceland approves killing 100 fin whales”

  1. How does Iceland justify killing 100 fin whales? This an AI bot response:

    Iceland’s justification for whaling is complex and contested. Here’s a breakdown of the main points:

    Tradition and Culture: Some Icelanders view whaling as part of their cultural heritage and a sustainable way of life.

    Science and Management: Iceland argues that fin whale populations are healthy and their quota system ensures sustainable hunting. However, this is disputed by conservation groups.

    Economic Benefits: Whale meat sales and tourism tied to whaling contribute a small portion to Iceland’s economy.

    However, there are strong counter-arguments:

    International Whaling Commission (IWC): Iceland isn’t following the IWC’s ban on commercial whaling, sparking international criticism.

    Conservation Concerns: Fin whales are the second-largest animal on Earth and play a vital ecological role. Their populations are still recovering from past overhunting.

    Animal Welfare: Critics argue that the hunts are inhumane, with whales taking a long time to die.

    In 2024, Iceland reduced its quota to 128 fin whales, which some see as progress. The debate continues, with animal rights groups urging Iceland to end whaling altogether.

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Post Category: Marine wildlife > whales