Conservation groups including WDC are calling on the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the organisation that regulates whaling) and its member governments to condemn Iceland’s commercial whale hunt following the first kill of the 2014 hunting season – an endangered fin whale.
The whale was killed off Iceland’s west coast on Tuesday and landed at the company’s processing station in Hvalfjörður, less than an hour’s drive from the capital Reykjavik.
In addition to meat, the blubber and offal of the fin whale killed today will be rendered into oil.
The slaughter of the fin whale coincides with a working party meeting of the European Union Environment Council in preparation for the meeting of the IWC in September, and WDC is pushing for governments to take a strong stand against Icelandic whaling ahead of, and during, the meeting.
Since 2008, more than 5,540 tonnes of fin whale meat has been exported, with an unprecedented single shipment of 2,000 tonnes to Japan in March this year. Iceland re-joined the IWC in 2002 but does not recognise the global ban on commercial whaling adopted in 1982. The country’s commercial whaling resumed in 2006. Almost all the fin whale meat originating from the 2014 hunt is destined for Japan, despite a ban on international trade in fin whales under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).