The announcement in Iceland by authorities shook the world. They have announced that they are planning on killing off more than 2,000 whales in the short span of the next 5 years.
Evidently, environmental organizations are outraged as Iceland continuously challenges the International Whaling Commission’s ban on commercial whaling, better known as the IWC.
The IWC adopted a moratorium in 1982, effectively banning commercial whaling worldwide, but despite the ban and a surprisingly declining market for whale meat, Iceland has announced that they will be moving forward, all engines blazing with their initial plans.
The only predator known to the largest, oldest animals on earth is humans.
Iceland aren’t the only culprits – Japan proposed the renewal of commercial whaling in September last year, which the IWC rejected, with Japan in turn withdrawing its membership from the IWC, returning to whale hunting.
Similarly to the limitations placed on Japanese whalers, the whalers in Iceland will be licensed to harpoon 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales exclusively in Icelandic waters every year, from now up until 2023.
Icelandic officials have brought forward the supposed economic benefits of whaling, with a report written by an economist, who ideally for them has ties with the Pro-Whaling Independence Party stating that fin whale populations have made a full recovery. “During the most recent count in 2015, their population in the central North Atlantic was estimated at 37,000, or triple the number from 1987,” a statement read.
Kristjan Thor Juliusson, Iceland’s fisheries minster has said that according to the limitations set, the operation will go forth ‘sustainably’.
“It is clear that the two species of whale hunted in Iceland, minke whales and fin whales, are in good shape and the hunting that has taken place over the past decades has had no significant negative effects on the stocks.”
Despite the claims of sustainability, environmental activists remain outraged.
According to Vanessa Williams-Grey, campaigner for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation:
“The Icelandic government’s decision to continue to kill whales – amongst the most peaceful and intelligent beings on the planet – is morally repugnant as well as economically bankrupt.”
People involved in the tourism industry of Iceland are insistent that whales remain worth more alive than dead, with the University of Iceland reporting that whale tourism revenue topped 3.2 billion krona in 2017 while whaling brought in only 1.7 billion krona. – Shocking figures.
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