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Animal culture crucial for conservation says new research paper

WDC's Philippa Brakes, together with a number of experts working on a wide range of...

Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?

This exciting project is part of Deloitte's Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates,...
minke whale breaching

Norway urged to abandon plans to experiment on captured whales

WDC has teamed up with the Animal Welfare Institute and NOAH (Norway's largest NGO for...

Captivity ‘done and dusted’ in Australian state

The new regulations were introduced by NSW environment minister Matt Kean and followed inquiry into...
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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...

Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

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

Norway's whaling season begins

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

Norway increases whaling quota despite declining demand

Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be...

Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

Iceland’s commercial hunt of minke whales has ended for this year.

The common minke whale is the main species targeted by Japan, Norway and Iceland when they undertake ‘scientific’ and/or commercial whaling.

Iceland has continued to kill whales despite the International Whaling Committee’s ban on commercial whaling, using loopholes and its much-disputed move to take a so-called ‘reservation’ in 2002.

Out of a quota of 262, six minke whales were caught this summer which was the smallest number caught since 2003 when Iceland resumed whaling. 17 were caught in 2017 and 46 in 2016.

WDC’s view is that, since minke whale numbers in the region are steadily declining – with the reasons behind this decline still poorly understood – further quotas should be denied for that reason alone. Moreover, the hunts are extremely cruel as many of the whales do not die instantly.


Gunnar Bergmann Jonsson, CEO of minke whaling company IP-Utgerd Ltd said to Morgunbladid newspaper “We need to go much farther from the coast than before, so we need more staff, which increases costs”. Because of declining profits, the local industry is struggling and demand is diminishing.

Vanessa Williams-Grey, policy manager at WDC, comments “I am delighted that the cruel and unnecessary minke whale hunt has ended for this year, but fin whales are still being killed. WDC won’t stop until all whales are safe and free off Iceland.”

Kristján Loftsson, the world´s last commercial fin whaler, has already killed 57 of these gentle giants this year. His operations sparked even more international outrage when news broke of the illegal kill of an endangered and very rare blue whale or blue/fin whale hybrid in mid-July.