By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 05 February 2022 • 12:43
Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Svandis Svavarsdottir said in a column in the Morgunbladid newspaper on Friday that Iceland plans to end whaling, saying there was very little justification for continued whale hunting beyond 2024.
“There are few justifications to authorise the whale hunt beyond 2024,” the minister said, adding that, as things stand, it is highly likely that the practice will be banned when the current quotas end.
Whaling, which was re-authorised for commercial purposes in 2006, is becoming less economically justifiable, with only one whale killed in the past three years.
“There can be several reasons for this, but perhaps the simple explanation is that there have been sustained losses from this type of fishing,” she said.
Demand for whale meat from Iceland has dropped massively since Japan re-authorised whaling in 2019 after it withdrew from the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
With the no-fishing coastal zone extended, whalers in Iceland have been required to go further afield to hunt the animals.
Social distancing due to the coronavirus has also rendered Iceland’s whale meat processing plants inoperable.
Iceland is one of the few nations, along with Norway and Japan that still allows commercial whale hunts, a practice that is widely condemned worldwide.
Iceland’s last full whaling season was in 2018, with 146 fin whales and six Minke whales killed.
As Iceland plans to end whaling pressure will no doubt mount on the remaining nations involved in the practice to quit the practice, or at the very least to scale it back drastically.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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