While the controversial Faroese whale hunt is non-commercial, the Icelandic one is quite the opposite.
Demand for whale meat appears to be stable in Iceland. Many reports suggest that Icelanders no longer eat whale meat in great numbers. Yet minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) meat is readily available in supermarkets and sells for the equivalent of A$29.80 per kilogram.
Much of this is imported from Norway, indicating that there remains a strong domestic demand that is not being met by Icelandic whaling, and suggesting that it is not just Iceland’s growing number of tourists who want to eat whale meat, writes theconversation.com.
Minke whales are hunted by the company IP-Útgerð ehf., mostly for Icelandic consumption. In 2017, only 17 were taken. This was well within the quota of 269, although numbers were higher in previous years. The IUCN assesses the status of minke whales as “least concern”, adds theconversation.com.
Meanwhile, after a two-year break, whale hunting conducted by Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf. resumed again this summer.
Hvalur hf. has been granted a quota of 161 fin whales to hunt this summer, up from the 155 fin whales they were allowed to hunt the last time they went whaling, in 2015. The aim of the hunt is to develop nutritional supplements for the anemic from the meat, to make gelatin from the bones, and to use the whale blubber for unspecified medical purposes, reports Grapevine.is.
Director of Hvalur hf, Kristján Loftsson told Icelandic media earlier this week “that whaling has gone well despite bad weather conditions this hunting season and 125 whales have been caught.”
However, not all is well in the state of Denmark as the Icelandic government has received over ten thousand emails from individuals protesting the decision of Hvalur hf whaling company to recommence whaling on July 6th. This is still a much smaller number of emails then those received in 2006 when Icelanders began commercial whale hunting, writes Iceland Monitor.
As for the Faroe Islands, around 800 long-finned pilot whales and some Atlantic white-sided dolphins are slaughtered in the North Atlantic archipelago annually, mainly during the summer. The hunts, called grindadráp in Faroese, are non-commercial and are organized on a community level. Many Faroese consider the whale meat an important part of their food culture and history
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