Iceland revealed on Wednesday that 29 minke whales and 155 fin whales have been hunted down and killed this year. The unfortunate whale deaths are part of a whale hunting tradition that the country openly defies during hunting season.
Iceland and Norway are the only two countries that openly disobey the law against whale hunting that was set up by the International Whaling Commission in 1986.
Japan has been cleverly sliding past the law through a loophole where it is allowed to hunt the creatures for scientific studies. However, it is very clear that the whale meat always makes its way into the market.
Iceland’s whale hunting figures were provided by the country’s ministry of fisheries and agriculture.
According to the report, the figures were within the boundaries provided by the government for a hunting minimum of 171 fin whales and 275 minke whales. The country’s whale hunting exploits has received a lot of criticism from environmental groups, animal protection agencies and concerned countries.
The US threatened to withhold economic sanctions for Iceland in 2014. Avaaz campaign group endorsed an online petition in June 2015 against whale hunting in Iceland. The campaign managed to collect 3 million signatures.
Some of the conservation groups have reported some good news about the direction of whale hunting. They claim that the whale meat market has been experiencing low demand and that the number of whales hunted down has decreased based on the annual count.
However, the efforts are not yet there because the ultimate goal is to bring an end to whale hunting completely.
Bringing whale hunting to an end has proven to be harder than expected especially due to the existence of whale hunting companies such as Hvalur hf.
The company is directed by Kristján Loftsson, who also reported that the number of whales has been decreasing. Kristján has constantly been under a lot of pressure from the International Fund for Animal Welfare for shipping whale meant.