|"Ach, vell, dere's alvays da minkes!"|
July 2011: US Secretary of Commerce invoked the Pelly Amendment and certified Iceland for its continued slaughter of both fin and minke, saying its disregard for the global ban on commercial whaling was unacceptable.
Sept.2011: President Obama announced Iceland faced up to six different diplomatic measures over its continued whaling. He eventually settled for diplomatic "chats" instead...
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has worked alongside Icelandic whalewatch operators to promote whale watching as a humane and profitable alternative to whaling. UK Director Robbie Marsland: "We're delighted no more fin whales will be slaughtered in Iceland. We are also pleased to hear Mr Loftsson acknowledge this outdated industry is uneconomic. It is just a shame that 280 fin whales had to die in this failed commercial experiment."
Loftsson believes the market for whalemeat in Japan has still not recovered since the 2011 tsunami. He regularly exports small amounts of fin whalemeat to Japan (Feb.2012: 130 tonnes), but has yet to find a demand for the meat on the Japanese market.
This is an end to the killing of endangered fin (a practice denied by the Icelandic govt.!) but not an end to ALL whaling there. Sadly, commercial hunting of minke continues: 58 were killed in Iceland last season, by two companies, from a self-allocated bag limit of 216. The first minkes of the 2012 season were killed recently.
IFAW continues its 'Meet Us Don’t Eat Us' campaign, encouraging tourists visiting Iceland to support responsible whalewatching but to avoid trying whale meat.