It is the first time in 17 years that the two whaling island hunters that hunt cetaceans announce the stop.
In 2003, the country decided to resume pursuing and killing whales with harpoons, violating the 1986 International Whaling Commission moratorium. Now, after 17 years of activity, Iceland announces a stop, at least for the summer season. One of the two companies, dedicated to the hunting of cetaceans is the Hvalur, specialized in common whales and exporter of whales in Japan, had already announced at the beginning of June the possible renunciation for the 2019 season. Now comes the confirmation: no whaling this quest summer. The reason, according to reports from the local radio station Ruv, would be the result of a commercial and non-governmental decision, a consequence of the difficulties encountered by the company in selling meat on the Japanese market: “Icelandic tourism and with it the national economy is falling apart quickly”.
Even the IP-Utgerd company, which specializes in minke whale hunting, announced its decision, dictated by the extension of the coastal area, forbidden to hunting and fishing activities: the fishing boats “should have gone further out”, but this would have meant the increase in whaling costs.
According to official data, in 2018, 145 common whales and 6 minke whales were killed, in line with the limits set by the authorities, which establish a maximum number of cetaceans that can be killed: 209 for common whales and 217 for minke whales .
For this summer, therefore, the fishing boats will devote themselves only to hunting for sea cucumbers.