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Dominica announces new protections for sperm whales

Dominica has placed almost 800 square kilometers of sea off the west coast of the...
Commerson's dolphin

New Important Marine Mammal Areas added to global ocean conservation list

Commerson's dolphin Experts from a number of countries have mapped out a new set of...
Vaquita. Photo Thomas Jefferson

Scientific Committee gives first ever official species extinction warning

Photo: Thomas Jefferson We have welcomed the urgent call by experts to protect the vaquita...
blue whale

Whale fossil from Peru may have been heavier than blue whale

Scientists examining the bones of a 39 million-year-old ancient whale have concluded that it may...
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  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
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Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

Iceland’s commercial hunt of minke whales has ended for this year. The common minke whale is the...
Port River dolphins

New report reveals 100,000 dolphins and small whales hunted every year

When you hear the words ‘dolphin hunts’ it’s likely that you think of Japan or...

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...

End the whale hunts! Icelandic fin whaler isolated as public mood shifts

Here’s a sight I hoped never again to witness. A boat being scrubbed and repainted...

Australian Government to block Japanese whaling proposal

Japanese Government officials have reportedly confirmed that they will propose the resumption of commercial whaling...

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...

Icelandic whalers breach international law and kill iconic, protected whale by mistake

Icelandic whalers out hunting fin whales for the first time in three years appear to...

Pregnant whales once again a target for Japanese whalers

Figures from Japan's whaling expedition to Antarctica during the 2017/18 austral summer have revealed that...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

I have to admit to bitter disappointment when I arrived in Tromsø, northern Norway, a...

Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf,  announced today that it will resume fin whaling...

NGOs take campaign against fin whaling to Boston Seafood EXPO

BOSTON SEAFOOD EXPO. Members of the “Don’t Buy from Icelandic Whalers” coalition have affirmed that their campaign will continue until Iceland permanently ends commercial whaling and international trading of whale products, despite recent news that Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf is suspending its summer hunt of endangered fin whales. The coalition encourages supermarket and food service representatives to avoid purchasing seafood from Icelandic companies tied to whaling.

“For a second straight year, endangered fin whales will get a reprieve from Iceland’s harpoons, but we urge companies to use their buying power to ensure Iceland stops killing whales permanently,” said Taryn Kiekow Heimer, senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Just weeks before the Seafood Expo, One Source Proteins—a seafood sourcing and logistics company—reported to the coalition that it discontinued the importation of products from Friosur, S.A. Chile, a subsidiary of HB Grandi, Iceland’s leading seafood company. HB Grandi (which is exhibiting at the Seafood Expo) is tied to whaling through its chairman, Kristján Loftsson, who is also executive director of Hvalur hf. One Source Proteins also indicated that it does not support commercial whaling and trade in whale products and requires that its suppliers not engage in such activities.

“Our coalition commends One Source Proteins for its decision to cease purchasing seafood products from Icelandic whalers and for opposing commercial whaling,” said DJ Schubert, a wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). “It joins a growing list of companies that have, through their purchasing choices, demonstrated that commercial whaling is unacceptable.”

“Whaling is a cruel practice that should no longer be tolerated,” stated Elizabeth Hogan, campaign manager for Oceans & Wildlife at World Animal Protection. “If all food retailers break their ties to companies linked to Icelandic whaling, commercial killing of whales by Icelandic whalers will eventually end.”

Iceland is one of only three nations that continue to engage in commercial whaling and international trade in whale products, in defiance of international law. In 2015, Hvalur killed 155 endangered fin whales, the highest number since the global commercial whaling moratorium took effect in 1986. Hvalur is responsible for the deaths of more than 700 endangered fin whales since 2006 and has shipped over 7,200 metric tons of fin whale products to Japan, including over 3,300 metric tons in the past two years alone.

“Endangered fin whales are safe for a second consecutive year but the temporary cessation of fin whaling must become permanent,” stated Clare Perry, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Oceans Campaign leader. “There is simply no reason for the Icelandic government to continue to countenance this slaughter, which profits a very few individuals at the expense of Iceland’s international reputation and potentially its commercial fishing industry.”

Although Hvalur’s suspension of its summer fin whale hunt is positive news for whales, the coalition will continue to monitor the situation, as fin whaling has been suspended in the past, only to resume. In addition, while the fin whale hunt has been cancelled, the killing of minke whales will continue. Based on a government quota, as many as 264 minke whales could be killed in Iceland this year thereby undermining the commercial whaling moratorium. A significant percentage of the meat from the kills is served to Iceland’s tourists, the largest proportion of whom are from the United States and the United Kingdom.   

“Hvalur’s decision not to kill endangered fin whales is a welcome development in the decades-old effort to finally end commercial whaling,” said Scott Leonard of the Nantucket Marine Mammal Conservation Program (NMMCP). “This won’t be achieved until minke whaling ends, as well. Tourists, simply by refusing to eat whale meat, can help end the cruelty of all whaling in Iceland.”

“Consumers have the power to end commercial whaling in Iceland through their purchasing decisions,” said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation North America (WDC-NA). “Commercial whaling is cruel, unprofitable, harms the environment, and is no more sustainable than deforestation in the Amazon.”

“Marine species in the world’s ocean are being devastated by unsustainable fishing operations said Sigrid Lueber, OceanCare president. “Consuming seafood from any company with ties to whaling is particularly egregious. Informed choices are therefore crucial.”

The coalition website,, identifies which North American businesses purchase seafood from companies linked to Hvalur, and provides information for consumers about how to take action against Icelandic whaling. The coalition is comprised of several organizations, including AWI, CarbonFix International, Cetacean Society International, Dolphin Connection, EIA, Greenpeace USA, the International Marine Mammal Program of the Earth Island Institute, NMMCP, NRDC, OceanCare, WDC-NA, the Whaleman Foundation and World Animal Protection.

 For more information on the campaign, visit