Icelandic report reveals the cruelty of whaling.
On 8th May, a report was released by MAST, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, which shows the immense suffering caused during the 2022 whaling season.
It’s time for these brutal hunts to end. Not only are the hunts immeasurably cruel, but whales are our climate and biodiversity heroes – if they thrive, our ocean survives.
Please do all you can to urge the Icelandic government to end the deliberate killing of whales. The international community stands by the majority of Icelanders at this critical moment to call for an end to whaling.
The report is distressing. It found that of the 58 fin whales caught during the MAST data collection period, only 59% died instantly - this means that 41% of whales suffered intensely before dying. The average time to death for those whales not killed instantaneously was 11.5 minutes. In addition, five whales had to be harpooned three times before they died and four whales were harpooned four times, with one whale taking 58 minutes to die and another suffered for two hours before dying.
The observations carried out for the report only took place during the last part of the hunting season. In total, 148 fin whales were killed over the 2022 season, meaning that 90 fin whales were killed without anyone recording the welfare concerns that took place during the hunt. So, if the full picture was known, it’s likely that MAST’s report would reveal even more horrifying information about the cruelty caused.
The report found that one female was lactating when she was killed, which means that her death left a young fin whale without a mother and possibly caused this juvenile to die too. 12% of the females caught during 2022 were pregnant; their foetuses ranged in length from just over one metre to 4.3 metres (almost two thirds of the birth size for fin whales). It’s also noted that some hunting took place when it was difficult to see due to darkness, which would clearly result in poor welfare. MAST concluded that the whaling which took place didn’t comply with the objectives of the Icelandic Animal Welfare Act.
The Icelandic Veterinary Association (DÍ) stated that they believe the report clearly shows whaling methods violates the main objectives of the Animal Welfare Act and called on the fisheries minister to stop whaling immediately.
There’s no place for this cruelty in the 21st century, and the exposure of the harm being caused through the release of the MAST report is a wake-up call to the world. Please urge the Icelandic government to act now to immediately and permanently end whaling in its waters.