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An end to whaling in Iceland

Aug 25, 2007

An Icelandic whale watching ship

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is celebrating the Icelandic government’s decision to not issue new whale-hunting quotas.

The decision, announced by fisheries minister Einar Guofinnsson, is a reflection of the lack of demand for whalemeat in Iceland. Permits will not be issued again until market demand increases and it gets an export license from Japan.

Claire Bass, Marine Mammals Program Manager, comments “WSPA applauds the Icelandic government’s historic decision to stop commercial whaling and is pleased that the Icelandic market for whale-watching continues to flourish - making the most of the whales in their waters by watching – not killing them.”

Iceland’s commercial whaling hunt has been one of the focuses of WSPA’s campaign to stop whaling on welfare grounds. In 2006 WSPA launched a major campaign through e-bay to buy back the lives of Iceland’s fin whales to save them from this cruel hunt. The campaign received widespread support which was then presented to Iceland’s embassies all over the world.

The government issued a quota for 30 minke whales and 9 fin whales to be caught in 2006-2007; only 7 minkes and 7 fins were caught and most of the meat from these animals sits unsold in cold storage.

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