Thursday, October 10, 2013

Icelandic Whaling Concludes, Catches Down

The 2013 whaling season in Iceland officially ended at the end of September.
In all, 134 fin were killed since the start of the season on June 16. The quota was for 154 fin whales in addition to 20% of last year's unused catch: a total of 180.
The local Icelandic media claim that, as 150 people were employed in connection with fin whaling this northern summer, it therefore has a positive effect on the entire Icelandic society. "It matters immensely to us Icelanders to have companies that generate export revenue, revenue that enables us to uphold a welfare society," one paper spouts. The media sidesteps the negative impact of whaling on Iceland's global image. Further, the same media conveniently forgets, when beating its patriotic drum, that Icelandic whaling is the domain of just one
Do I give a shit?
company, Hvalur, driven by one man - fishing magnate Kristjan Loftsson. For that one individual, a whole country pays a price.
And as for generating export revenue, well, Hvalur has struggled to export fin whale meat this year. You'll have read here that a whalemeat shipment for Japan was sent back to Iceland from Germany in July, and shipping company Samskip announced it would no longer transport whale.
Better news on Iceland's minke whaling front: the season concluded earlier this month, with only 38 whales of the 216 quota caught. The minke whalers blame the former Icelandic Minister of Industries for the poor catch, as he decided to extend the size of a whale reserve off Reykjavík, thus cramping the whalehunting operation (though a commendable effort, it was later reversed by his successor).

No comments: