Very Good News: No Whales to be Killed in Iceland this Summer!
Every summer, ships from two whaling companies ply Iceland’s waters, harpooning fin whales by the hundreds, as well as minkes. However, we can be grateful for a reprieve for these magnificent species with news that both companies have said they will not go out for this year’s whaling season — and one has even renounced whaling for good!
This marks the second year in a row that Iceland’s whaling season is on hold. The company IP-Utgerd has announced its permanent retirement from the whaling business, with the managing director stating “I’m stopping for good.” Hvalur, a company which has been a staunch supporter of the whaling industry in the past, announced it would be canceling the 2020 season.
The companies cite a few factors for their decisions, with cost being a major one. Iceland recently implemented no-fishing zones in coastal areas around the country, forcing ships to go further afield and spend more money on fuel. Competition with Japan, a major market for Hvalur in particular, was another reason, as were restrictions relating to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, compassion for the whales themselves, or any recognition of their inherent rights to be alive, were not among the reasons given for the cancellation of this year’s whaling season.
It remains to be seen whether this marks the end of whaling in Iceland for the foreseeable future, but we remain optimistic this cruel and unsustainable industry can be driven into the past where it belongs. Please keep taking action for whales and dolphins: www.idausa.org/savewhales.