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WDC team at UN Ocean conference

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Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

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Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

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Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...

Open season for minke whaling in Iceland and Norway

 

Sadly the minke whale season is underway again in both Iceland and Norway.

Whilst Icelandic fin whales have a reprieve this year at least, minke whales are not so fortunate and are once more being pursued by whaling boats. A female minke whale, almost 8 metres long, was killed on Monday 25th April, according to a posting on the minke whalers’ website. Vessel movements suggest that the whalers have probably taken at least another 1-2  minke whales at the time of writing.

In Norwegian waters, at least 3 whaling vessels are currently out hunting and so far this season, at least 28 whales have been killed (roughly the same as the 29 whales taken by this time last year).

This feels like an opportune moment to remind everyone that it is vitally important not to purchase or consume minke whale meat (or any other whale meat product) when on holiday in whaling regions.  Iceland’s minke whaling is almost entirely conducted in order to cater for tourist demand. Icelanders themselves almost never eat whale meat, but too many tourists believe that they are eating a ‘traditional’ dish. However, this is a fallacy and serves only to encourage further hunting. Outreach by WDC and other NGOs has raised awareness and halved consumption in recent years, but many restaurants persist in advertising the meat on their menus. Please make an informed choice and look out for the ‘Whale Friendly’ stickers increasingly on display!

Similarly in Norway, much of the minke whale meat is consumed by tourists either visiting the country or aboard cruise ships. Again, please spread the word to friends and relatives and ask them to refuse to purchase whale meat and other products.

The whalers rely on tourists ordering whale meat in ignorance of the facts around this cruel industry. Please spread the word to friends and relatives and ask them to support venues which refuse to serve whale products.

Please support our work to end whaling!