Iceland is poised to resume commercial whaling after a temporary ban, implementing stricter regulations and enhanced supervision. The temporary ban, enacted in June due to concerns about animal welfare, is nearing its end. During this time, Iceland's Food and Veterinary Authority released a report in May revealing that out of 58 whales monitored, 67% died or lost consciousness swiftly. Disturbingly, 14 whales were shot more than once, and two were shot four times before succumbing.
Following the release of this report, a panel of official experts conducted an evaluation of methods to mitigate "irregularities" during whale hunting. Their assessment, revealed this week, indicated that it's possible to improve hunting methods for large whales and enhance animal welfare. This development has elicited criticism from animal rights groups.
The International Whaling Commission initially imposed a ban on commercial whaling in the 1980s due to the decline in whale populations. Iceland withdrew from the IWC in 1992 but returned in 2002 with certain reservations, eventually resuming commercial whaling in 2006. Presently, Iceland, along with Norway and Japan, stands as one of the few countries still involved in commercial whaling. Iceland maintains annual quotas for hunting fin whales and minke whales within its waters. Although the nation primarily exports whale meat to Japan, demand there has dwindled following Japan's departure from the IWC.
It's noteworthy that the consumption of whale meat is scarce in Iceland itself. Micah Garen, a climate campaigner and the director of the documentary "The Last Whaling Station," pointed out that Icelanders generally do not consume whale meat. In response to the government's decision, he and others are considering legal action to challenge the practice, emphasizing its negative impact on Iceland and the planet as a whole.Source: Sylvia H. (September 1, 2023). Iceland says commercial whaling can resume after temporary ban. Independence. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/iceland-ap-north-atlantic-london-humane-society-international-b2402777.html