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Iceland resumes whaling

19 Jun 2013
Iceland resumes commercial fin whaling. © Greenpeace

Iceland resumes commercial fin whaling. © Greenpeace

The first fin whale has been caught by an Icelandic company, the first of a planned 180 by whaler Kristján Loftsson.

According to Greenpeace the 68 foot long male was caught by the whaler Hvalur 8, and was slaughtered at the port of Hvalfjörður, outside Reykjavik on Tuesday night.

Despite the operation being backed by the Icelandic government, Greenpeace is opposed to the commercial hunt, stressing that the operation is being carried out despite a ban on commercial whaling introduced by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The fin whale is also a threatened species.

"It is deeply regrettable that a single Icelandic whaler backed by the government undermines the global ban on commercial whaling, which is needed to secure the future of the world's whales," said Martin Norman, campaigner at Greenpeace Nordic.

The Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF) is also opposed to whaling, and has said that "it is clear that whale watching delivers more to the economy than commercial whaling will ever do".

In the Netherlands, environmental group Avaaz recently delivered a petition with 1.1 million signatures to the Dutch government calling for a ban on the transfer of Icelandic whale meat in Dutch ports.

Greenpeace claims that there is no market for whale meat in Japan anymore, where the Icelandic whale hunt is entirely exported to. The whale meat from the Icelandic hunt in 2010 has recently been used for luxury dog food in Japan and there is also no market for fin whale meat in Iceland.

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Iceland resumes commercial fin whaling. © Greenpeace

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