Fin whaling vessels owned by Iceland’s biggest whaling company, Hvalur hf, left Reykjavik Harbour yesterday. After stopping at the whaling station at Hvalfjordur to pick up chains, harpoons and other gear, they headed out to the whaling grounds off Faxafloi. Last December, the Icelandic Fisheries Ministry self-allocated a quota of 154 fin whales to be killed during the 2014 season, despite the species being classified as endangered and the existence of a massive frozen stockpile of Icelandic fin whale meat in Japan. Almost no fin whale meat is consumed in Iceland itself.
It is reported that the whalers are once again aiming to kill their first fin whale to mark Iceland’s National Day on Tuesday 17th June, as they did last year.
The whalers have gone out, in defiance of global criticism and strong campaigning from WDC and other NGOs and despite a strong snub last week from the US State Department which pointedly omitted to invite Icelandic representatives to an international ocean conference on ocean sustainability, Our Ocean.
WDC will continue the fight to stop whaling in all waters and, on the eve of an important EU meeting when whaling will be discussed, we call upon governments both in the EU and wider, to stand united and speak with one voice in defence of whales.