Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Nature

Support for whaling continues to drop in Iceland

By Staff

  • Cutting up a fin whale Fin whale products have been exported to Japan. However, no fin whales were caught this year. Photo/Vilhelm.

Less than half of Icelanders support whaling a new poll reveals. The poll, which was conducted on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, reveals that only 35% of Icelanders support the hunting of fin whales and 46% support the hunting of minke whales.

This is the first time that a poll shows that support for whaling of both fin whales and minke whales dips below 50% in Iceland. Iceland hunted no fin whales this past summer, and only 17 minke whales were killed by whalers. Demand for whale meat in Iceland has been dropping in recent years as Icelanders abandon whale meat. More than half of all whale meat in Iceland is sold to restaurants, where it is consumed by foreign visitors.

Read more: Whaling is not an Icelandic tradition

The IFAW poll also revealed that a majority of Icelanders support the creation of a whale sanctuary in Faxaflói bay, covering the entire bay between Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes peninsulas. Currently the whale sanctuary in Faxaflói only covers the waters between Reykjavík and the town of Akranes. The support for a whale sanctuary is even greater in Reykjavík. 62% of the residents of the capital support the protection of the entire bay. Almost all minke whales killed in Iceland in recent years have been hunted in Faxaflói bay.

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