Skip to content
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Corporates
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Rescuers find young girl’s body surrounded by dolphins

Reports from South Africa about a tragic drowning off Llandudno beach, Cape Town say that...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Nearly 500 whales die in New Zealand

https://au.whales.org/2022/10/14/nearly-500-whales-die-in-new-zealand/
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings

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...

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...

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...

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...

Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

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

Icelandic whaling report raises concerns

A long-anticipated report into the economic impact of Icelandic whaling has been released and raises a number of concerns.  Commissioned by the Icelandic government’s Ministry of Industries and Innovation, which includes the pro-whaling Fisheries Ministry, the report is authored by the University of Iceland’s Institute of Economic Studies, and concludes that whaling is of overall benefit to the economy and does not impact tourism.

According to Oddgeir Ágúst Ottesen, an economist at the Institute of Economic Studies, whaling created ISK 1.7 billion ($14.1m/ £10.8m) in revenue in 2017. “We evaluated this and looked at all the positive and negative aspects and when everything is put together it’s economically advantageous to hunt whales” Oddgeir stated.

A number of key elements in the report are alarming, including the claim that the whale hunts could be expanded to include other species, such as sei whales, humpback whales and sperm whales.

The argument used by whalers across the globe that ‘whales eat fish so we need to kill more whales to protect our fish stocks for human consumption’ is repeated in the report. Otteson states that “Whales eat seven to eight times [as much as] what we fish. And that eating has a great impact. Whale populations are increasing very much and whales’ impact could increase … the conclusion was that, yes, fish stocks benefit from the fact that whale populations are reduced.” The report also suggests that if fin and minke whale stocks (the two species currently targeted by whalers) were reduced by around 40%, this would benefit fisheries by more than 13 billion ISK (over £83 million).

However, the argument that whales have a detrimental effect on human fisheries activities has been debunked many times and whale scientists, increasingly agree that healthy fish stocks – and indeed the overall health of our ocean – are dependent on healthy whale populations. WDC has long championed the concept of whales as ‘ecosystems engineers’.

Oddly, after stating that whales eat too many fish, the report nevertheless then goes on to raise concerns that whale watching – a hugely popular and economically-important industry for Iceland which even the report acknowledges was worth ISK 3.2 billion (£20.5 million) in 2017 – might potentially disturb whales while trying to feed. 

The report is intended to feed into a wider government review which will be concluded in coming weeks. Back in August 2018, the Icelandic prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, called for a thorough review of Iceland´s whaling, including socio-economic and animal welfare aspects.

WDC is fighting to STOP whaling. DONATE and help.