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Grey whale eye

Animal culture crucial for conservation says new research paper

WDC's Philippa Brakes, together with a number of experts working on a wide range of...

EU scientific body confirms stronger measures are needed to protect dolphins and porpoises from death in nets

The expert body that provides scientific advice to the European Commission on the management of...
A magical sperm whale encounter

Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?

This exciting project is part of Deloitte's Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates,...
minke whale breaching

Norway urged to abandon plans to experiment on captured whales

WDC has teamed up with the Animal Welfare Institute and NOAH (Norway's largest NGO for...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Sperm whale © Douglas Hoffman

Featured policy news item

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc magna elit, gravida at lectus vitae,...
sea_world_orlando_rob_lott

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque Following a three...

Endangered Southern Resident orca loses newborn calf

In heartbreaking news from the Pacific Northwest, the Center for Whale Research has reported that...
srkw_shoup_2003_text

U.S. Defense Bill weakens protections for whales

24 July 2018, Plymouth, MA: The FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report was released...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...
f0k5103-2

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...
iron_gate_dam_klamath

One step closer to more salmon for endangered Southern Resident orcas

On June 28, 2018, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) filed “The Definite Plan” for...
monodon_monoceros-wdc3

Narwhals and Bowhead whales threatened by new Arctic shipping routes

A NASA-funded study has warned that marine creatures like whales and dolphins will be exposed...
japanese_whaling_2005_-_minke_whales_credit_jeremy_sutton-hibbert_for_use_until_28.2.17_1

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...
hvalfjordur_035

Iceland flouts international ban to slaughter first protected fin whale of new hunting season

Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf has slaughtered an endangered fin whale today in defiance of...
l92_dave_ellifrit_cwr

Southern Resident orca L92 missing as community returns to the Salish Sea

We are very sad to share news announced today by the Center for Whale Research...
whale_alert_flag_san_juan_county

New actions in the Northwest to help Southern Resident orcas and salmon

As the Washington State Task Force starts to examine threats to the endangered Southern Resident...
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Corporates
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching
Grey whale eye

Animal culture crucial for conservation says new research paper

WDC's Philippa Brakes, together with a number of experts working on a wide range of...

EU scientific body confirms stronger measures are needed to protect dolphins and porpoises from death in nets

The expert body that provides scientific advice to the European Commission on the management of...
A magical sperm whale encounter

Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?

This exciting project is part of Deloitte's Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates,...
minke whale breaching

Norway urged to abandon plans to experiment on captured whales

WDC has teamed up with the Animal Welfare Institute and NOAH (Norway's largest NGO for...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Sperm whale © Douglas Hoffman

Featured policy news item

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc magna elit, gravida at lectus vitae,...
sea_world_orlando_rob_lott

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque Following a three...

Endangered Southern Resident orca loses newborn calf

In heartbreaking news from the Pacific Northwest, the Center for Whale Research has reported that...
srkw_shoup_2003_text

U.S. Defense Bill weakens protections for whales

24 July 2018, Plymouth, MA: The FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report was released...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...
f0k5103-2

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...
iron_gate_dam_klamath

One step closer to more salmon for endangered Southern Resident orcas

On June 28, 2018, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) filed “The Definite Plan” for...
monodon_monoceros-wdc3

Narwhals and Bowhead whales threatened by new Arctic shipping routes

A NASA-funded study has warned that marine creatures like whales and dolphins will be exposed...
japanese_whaling_2005_-_minke_whales_credit_jeremy_sutton-hibbert_for_use_until_28.2.17_1

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...
hvalfjordur_035

Iceland flouts international ban to slaughter first protected fin whale of new hunting season

Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf has slaughtered an endangered fin whale today in defiance of...
l92_dave_ellifrit_cwr

Southern Resident orca L92 missing as community returns to the Salish Sea

We are very sad to share news announced today by the Center for Whale Research...
whale_alert_flag_san_juan_county

New actions in the Northwest to help Southern Resident orcas and salmon

As the Washington State Task Force starts to examine threats to the endangered Southern Resident...

Icelandic whaling report raises concerns

A long-anticipated report into the economic impact of Icelandic whaling has been released and raises a number of concerns.  Commissioned by the Icelandic government’s Ministry of Industries and Innovation, which includes the pro-whaling Fisheries Ministry, the report is authored by the University of Iceland’s Institute of Economic Studies, and concludes that whaling is of overall benefit to the economy and does not impact tourism.

According to Oddgeir Ágúst Ottesen, an economist at the Institute of Economic Studies, whaling created ISK 1.7 billion ($14.1m/ £10.8m) in revenue in 2017. “We evaluated this and looked at all the positive and negative aspects and when everything is put together it’s economically advantageous to hunt whales” Oddgeir stated.

A number of key elements in the report are alarming, including the claim that the whale hunts could be expanded to include other species, such as sei whales, humpback whales and sperm whales.

The argument used by whalers across the globe that ‘whales eat fish so we need to kill more whales to protect our fish stocks for human consumption’ is repeated in the report. Otteson states that “Whales eat seven to eight times [as much as] what we fish. And that eating has a great impact. Whale populations are increasing very much and whales’ impact could increase … the conclusion was that, yes, fish stocks benefit from the fact that whale populations are reduced.” The report also suggests that if fin and minke whale stocks (the two species currently targeted by whalers) were reduced by around 40%, this would benefit fisheries by more than 13 billion ISK (over £83 million).

However, the argument that whales have a detrimental effect on human fisheries activities has been debunked many times and whale scientists, increasingly agree that healthy fish stocks – and indeed the overall health of our ocean – are dependent on healthy whale populations. WDC has long championed the concept of whales as ‘ecosystems engineers’.

Oddly, after stating that whales eat too many fish, the report nevertheless then goes on to raise concerns that whale watching – a hugely popular and economically-important industry for Iceland which even the report acknowledges was worth ISK 3.2 billion (£20.5 million) in 2017 – might potentially disturb whales while trying to feed. 

The report is intended to feed into a wider government review which will be concluded in coming weeks. Back in August 2018, the Icelandic prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, called for a thorough review of Iceland´s whaling, including socio-economic and animal welfare aspects.

WDC is fighting to STOP whaling. DONATE and help.