For the first time in 17 years, there will be no whaling in Icelandic waters this summer.
Due to a shrinking international market for whale meat and the expansion of a no-fishing coastal zone, both of the nation’s major whaling companies have decided to abandon their summer hunting season altogether, meaning that no whales of any kind will be hunted in Iceland.
IP-Utgerd – a company specializing in harpooning minke whales – said that the expansion of the no-fishing zone would force their ships to travel farther out to sea, making the venture far more costly than usual. The company now says that they will be focusing on collecting sea cucumbers for the summer, according to Icelandic news platform RUV.
Hvalur, the other Icelandic whaling company, specializes in harpooning fin whales – an endangered species that is hailed for being the second largest whale in the world.
Though the company typically exports 100% of their catch to Japan, a shrinking demand for whale meat has prompted them to abandon their summer harpooning.
Whalers have been hunting in Icelandic waters since the country lifted their restrictions on whaling in 2003. Though the companies may reconsider their whaling ventures next summer, environmentalists and marine biologists are rejoicing over this year’s harpooning respite.
Be Sure And Share This Whale Of A Tale With Your Friends On Social Media – File photo by Mike Pennington, CC