Here’s a sight I hoped never again to witness. A boat being scrubbed and repainted on Reykjavik harbour will generally arouse little attention from passing tourists, but this is different and far more chilling. This is the Hvalur 8.
Will 2018 be the year that I can finally visit beautiful Iceland purely as a tourist, rather than a campaigner? Maybe it’s not surprising that this fabled ‘land of fire and ice’ should offer visitors a host of contradictions, but the juxtaposition of whale watching and whale hunting in the same waters is surely one of the most logic-defying examples on the planet?
Animal protection and conservation groups in Europe are calling on European airlines that offer flights to Iceland, a popular whale-watching destination, to urge passengers to stop buying whale products while travelling in the country.
The move comes as Iceland’s peak tourism season begins and coincides with the imminent start of the country’s annual minke whale hunt, during which up to 264 minke whales could be slaughtered, with much of the meat sold to tourists.
BOSTON SEAFOOD EXPO. Members of the “Don’t Buy from Icelandic Whalers” coalition have affirmed that their campaign will continue until Iceland permanently ends commercial whaling and international trading of whale products, despite recent news that Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf is suspending its summer hunt of endangered fin whales. The coalition encourages supermarket and food service representatives to avoid purchasing seafood from Icelandic companies tied to whaling.
I’m delighted to present a guest blog by Oliver Dirr, a German writer, tourism expert and passionate traveller! Oliver and his wife Theresa recently - in his words - “went on a trip around the world to meet some whales and learn about whale watching. First stop: the sperm whales off Iceland.”