It’s time for Iceland to choose tourism over whaling.
As global citizens, it’s time for us to act.
Several countries still hunt whales for meat, in defiance of the 1986 International Whaling Commission’s moratorium. One Icelandic company in particular—Hvalur hf.—recently took it one step too far when they killed an endangered blue hybrid whale. When two of earth’s most endangered whale species—fin and blue whales—mate, it results in an exceptionally rare blue hybrid. When this happens, it proves that it’s extremely difficult to identify species on a hunt and therefore, no whale is really “safe,” even if in a protected class.
It’s not the Icelandic people’s fault that whaling is happening in their spectacular country. In fact, 81% of Icelanders have never even tried whale meat. It’s just one company that continues to slaughter whales, causing considerable damage to Iceland’s reputation as a “green” tourist destination. How does the country expect its $20M whale watching industry to thrive, if simultaneously those very whales are being killed in the same water?It doesn’t add up.
So, why kill whales? Icelandic whale meat is transported to Japan. There, it sits in freezers year over year. There is no demand for the product—even in some of the last remaining pro-whaling countries. It’s not a revenue generating business. Even Japan—the front-runner in whaling—has started to question Iceland, as the trading of blue hybrid whales, or any of their parts, is considered illegal. Simply put, there’s no logical reason why any of this is going on.