“The controversial Icelandic whaling fleet captain, Mr. Kristian Loftsson, has stated that whale hunting is a matter of independence.
Some government ministers have as well claimed that whale hunting is an internal affair and not any other nation’s business. Many people, however, believe that such talk is nationalistic nonsense.
The whaling issue has split Iceland into almost two equal camps. Intellectuals in Universities and the tourist industry oppose whale hunting. US gigantic super market chain, Whole Foods Market, has decided to stop marketing Icelandic products because of Iceland’s decision to resume commercial whaling, and UK consumers have been told to boycott Icelandic fish. Tourists, however, seem to be still travelling to Iceland .
The Icelandic Government keeps their decisions on whaling quotas secret for as long as possible.
Only some weeks ago, the Prime Minister, Mr. Haare, told the international media that “ Iceland’s unsure to continue commercial whaling”.
Well, the decision has now been made. The total minke whale quota this season is 74 animals. The Government has issued permits to kill 38 minkes for the commercial hunt and the quota for the scientific hunt is 36 minke whales.
Iceland killed its first minke on Friday for the commercial hunt , and the scientific hunt will begin on May 8.
The minke whale meat is intended for the domestic market. The Icelandic Marine Research Institution estimates that about 200 to 400 minkes in Icelandic waters can be hunted in a sustainable way.
It is not known yet if Iceland will continue to hunt Fin whales this year. It all depends on if there is a market for Fin whales in Japan. Last years the decision to kill 9 Fin whales was met with an international outcry.
Another whaling nation, Norway, has been struggling with whaling for some years and resumed whaling April 1. So far 21 minkes have been reported killed. By the same time last year, which was a very bad one for whalers, 17 minke whales had been killed.
I’m wondering will Iceland and Mr . Loftsson hunt Fin whales this season and will Norwegian whalers fill their whaling quota?