Hvalur, Iceland’s sole remaining fin whaling company, announced in March that it intends to resume hunting this summer for the first time since 2018. Its two aging whaling vessels are currently being prepared, and the company is planning to hire up to 150 people to work on the ships, at the whaling station, and at a processing plant where the meat is frozen in preparation for export to Japan.
This comes just weeks after Iceland’s minister of food, agriculture and fisheries stated that there is little reason for the country to continue whaling. Two years ago, IP-Utgerd, Iceland’s last remaining minke whaler, called it quits after its managing director indicated that hunting minke whales in Iceland was no longer financially viable.
The current whaling regulations, which expire in 2024, allow up to 251 fin whales to be taken a year. The government is preparing to conduct an assessment of the potential economic and social impact of whaling. AWI hopes that falling demand for whale meat and the high political costs of a globally abhorred industry will convince Iceland not to renew its whaling regulations beyond the current expiration date, and finally end this cruel and unsustainable practice for good.