“There are few justifications to authorize whale hunting beyond 2024,” when current quotas expire, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Svandís Svavarsdóttir said in an op-ed in Friday’s Morgunblaðið newspaper.
The minister wrote it was “undisputed” that whale hunting had not had much economic significance to Iceland in recent years, with no big whale caught in the last three years, except for one minke whale in 2021.
“Japan has been the largest buyer of [Icelandic] whale meat, but its consumption is declining year by year. Why should Iceland take the risk of continuing fishing that has not yielded economic benefits, in order to sell a product that is in low demand? “She asked.
According to the IWC, whose purpose is “to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry,” Iceland continued a small “scientific whaling program” after the 1986 embargo.
Iceland resumed commercial whaling in October 2006 in a move “furiously disputed by many countries angry at what they regarded as Iceland’s attempt to bypass international regulations,” according to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), a non-profit organization.