Well, I say "Iceland"...but everyone knows its really just Kristjan Loftsson, CEO of Hvalur. Hvalur is the only Icelandic company that catches whales and, by logical extension, that means Loftsson and his merry men are the entire Icelandic whaling community.
The country's fishing ministry says the minke whale kill will increase by 6%, from 216 in 2013 to 229 in 2014. The hunting quota for rorquals - which includes blue whales, humpback whales and fin whales - remains unchanged at 154. This year Iceland did not reach the permitted quotas, killing only 134 rorquals and 38 minke whales. Loftsson caught 148 fin whales in 2010, but none in 2011 and 2012, due to the collapse of the Japanese market after the earthquake and tsunami.
Since Iceland resumed whaling in 2006 (despite an international moratorium), it and Norway have come in for furious criticism from environmental groups and other countries. This quota increase will likely intensify international condemnation.
Icelanders eat little whale meat, so most of the catch is sent to the Japanese market...and this is curious in itself. We all know that the Japanese catch has plummeted in recent years after intervention by Sea Shepherd. And its obvious that Japan is making up the shortfall with Icelandic imports. The question is: why? The huge stockpile of whalemeat in Japan shows no sign of diminishing but, basically, no-one there is eating it!
So why keep hunting whales?
Why keep importing whalemeat from Iceland?
And why does Iceland allow its reputation to suffer, because of one bloodthirsty butcher?