Historical moment as Iceland will not hunt any whales this season

Some great news for all animal rights activists out there as there will be no whale hunt in Iceland, this summer. The decision came after the two major whaling companies in Iceland decided to renounce at the harpooning whales, for the first time in 17 years, France 24 reported. Initially it was thought the decision will apply only to the fin whales, an endangered species, but according to media in Iceland it applies to all whales.

According to Bergmann Jónsson, the CEO of whaling company IP Útgerð, the company he owns would skip whaling this year. However, he announced they will focus on sea cucumbers, instead.

The decision came after an extinction of a no-fishing coastal zone which would have determinate the fishing boats “to go further offshore to hunt minke whales,” the France 24 reported. The local press also reported that the Icelandic authorities delayed the hunting permits, this year, leaving the whaling companies a very short time to prepare themselves.

Another major factor that determinate those companies to abandon the whaling season could be the lack of whale meat markets. Kristjan Loftsson, CEO of Hvalur,  declared they are struggling to sell whale meat on the Japanese market, according to Icelandic broadcaster RUV.

 

In 1986, the International Whaling Commission decided to ban the whale hunting. However, in 2003 the Iceland Government decided to resume the controversial practice. The annual quota set by the authorities is 209 for fin whales and 217 for Minke whales, available until 2023, according to local media.

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