Images documenting the slaughter of what is an iconic symbol of the natural world have deeply concerned international whale experts and confirm the indiscriminate and cruel nature of whale hunting.
Japanese Government officials have reportedly confirmed that they will propose the resumption of commercial whaling at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the global body that regulates whale hunts) in September.
Australia and other anti-whaling nations are now set for a showdown with Japan at the IWC meeting, which will be held in Brazil.
Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial whale hunting at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the global body that regulates whale hunts) as, according to Japanese government representatives, some whale populations have become large enough to justify the killing.
Figures from Japan's whaling expedition to Antarctica during the 2017/18 austral summer have revealed that 122 out of the 181 female minke whales killed were pregnant.
In total, 333 whales were hunted with 152 males and another 53 immature females making up the number.
Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf, announced today that it will resume fin whaling on June 10th after a break of two years.
As many as 161 fin whales could be killed, and the tally may even reach over 200 fin whales if the whalers also decide to exploit a second quota of 48 fin whales to the east of Iceland [source Hafogvatn].
April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium on commercial whaling, Norway and Iceland continue to hunt minke whales in the North Atlantic as they objected to the agreement.
Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be hunted this year from 999 to 1278.
This is 28% more than in 2017 even though recent years have seen a decline in the number of whales being killed and fewer whaling vessels heading out to sea.
Falling consumer demand and higher fuel prices along with apparent increasing difficulty in finding the whales have all been blamed on the industry's decline.
Will 2018 be the year that I can finally visit beautiful Iceland purely as a tourist, rather than a campaigner? Maybe it’s not surprising that this fabled ‘land of fire and ice’ should offer visitors a host of contradictions, but the juxtaposition of whale watching and whale hunting in the same waters is surely one of the most logic-defying examples on the planet?