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Success! Icelandic minke whale hunts end after years of WDC campaigning

Minke whale

Following on from the news that Iceland’s fin whaling vessels will not be leaving port this season to begin their annual hunts, it seems Iceland’s only minke whaling company is ending its hunts for good.

Gunnar Bergmann Jonsson, managing director of Icelandic company IP-Utgerd, which specializes in hunting minke whales, has told media that it was no longer profitable to hunt for the whales in Icelandic waters.

"I'm never going to hunt whales again, I'm stopping for good," Jonsson said.

The news represents a great success for WDC’s years of campaigning to stop whaling in Iceland and other nations across the globe.

Last week Kristian Loftsson, the owner of Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf’s, said that the fin whale hunts will not take place this season due to tough market conditions in Japan. However, whale meat popularity has been falling in Iceland, and for many years WDC has been illustrating the fact that commercial whaling has only survived because of perverse government subsidies abusing taxpayers’ monies to keep fleets afloat.

WDC CEO, Chris Butler-Stroud said, ‘This is tremendous news. It is also a turning point for Iceland and its people and something that WDC has campaigned for for years. An end to minke whaling, and the end in sight for fin whaling, gives Iceland the chance to position itself as the true green island of the North Atlantic.  The country can now build a new reputation for itself as one of the  best places in the world to watch whales and as host to the first ever sanctuary for ex-captive whales. WDC looks forward to continuing to work with Icelanders and celebrating a new ethical and sustainable relationship with whales and dolphins, one that values them alive.’

Icelandic whalers have slaughtered more than 1,700 whales (finminke and sei whales) since the global ban on commercial whaling came into force in 1986.

Contrary to popular belief, whale meat is not a traditional dish and local people rarely eat it. A 2016 survey revealed that only 1.5% of the population regularly purchases whale meat. Most of the minke whale catch is served up in restaurants to tourists.

Common minke whale

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2 Comments

  1. Gary Taylor on 28th April 2020 at 1:18 am

    Great news that. Now if only you can stop the Faroe Islands. They still hunt the whales for meat, but (as we were told) they don’t eat much as it has high levels of Mercury! Then why the needless slaughter??

  2. Brian Abbott on 22nd May 2020 at 10:00 am

    Tremendous news that at last Iceland has made the Moral decision to stop whaling. . I hope they keep their word!
    Denmark/Faroese whaling would stop this year if the UK Government would threaten to stop importing 600,000 tons of pig meat every year by Denmark

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