Posted by: The ocean update | August 22, 2014

88 Fin Whales Culled So Far (Iceland)

Photo by Skary

Photo by Skary

August 22th, 2014 (Paul Fontaine). Over half the quota of fin whales has been culled so far this summer, showing a slight decline from the year previous.

Since whaling season began last June 15, Vísir reports, 88 fin whales have been culled. The maximum quota is for 154 fin whales, which may only be hunted during a 3-month period.

“It’s being going decently well,” Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the plant manager of whaling company Hvalur hf. “There are a bit fewer animals than there were at this same time last year. It’s been a difficult time, but it’ll work out.”

Greenpeace, amongst others, have pointed out that whale meat is not selling there and is in fact piling up in cold storage, as Associated Press investigations uncovered. Kristján Loftsson, the director of Hvalur, dismissed this outright, saying that he would not be hunting whales if there was no market for them.

To avoid previous incidents where ships containing whale meat have been blocked, the ship or ships exporting this new cull will be sailing directly to Japan from Iceland.

As reported, Iceland’s whaling practices – in particular, of the endangered fin whale – has increased diplomatic tensions between Iceland and the United States.

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