Stop Whaling Campaign
WDCS calls on visitors to Iceland not to eat whale meat
A staggering 35 to 40% of the meat from minke whales slaughtered by Icelandic whalers is eaten by tourists visiting the country who often have no idea that their actions are propping up commercial whaling - an industry in decline.
As a result, WDCS is launching an awareness campaign targeted at tourists thinking of visiting Iceland to draw attention to the fact that eating the meat, which is often offered as part of the 'tourist experience' in the country, plays a significant part in keeping the cruel practice of whaling afloat.
WDCS is positively encouraging tourists to this amazing country to get out to see the whales with a responsible, local whale watching operator, but ask that people think about the impact that eating the meat has on the whale watching industry, and also the inhumane way in which these magnificent and intelligent creatures are killed before they are served up.
We are seeing increasing numbers of tourists walking off whale watching vessels and straight into restaurants that serve whale meat. More than 100 restaurants - including Þrir Frakkar, allegedly a favourite of Jamie Oliver, and shops are currently selling minke whale meat. Iceland's whalers are also putting more effort into promoting the sale of whale meat as an exotic food and are now offering smoked and marinated whale meat in addition to whale steaks for grilling.
WDCS asks people who are thinking of going to Iceland to resist the temptation to give the meat a try despite what you may be told by local whale hunters. The fact is that only a small percentage of Icelandic people eat the meat these days. The whales suffer a long and slow death, they are not suitable as a species for human harvesting and, contrary to myth, they are not responsible for reducing local fish stocks.
Check our list of restaurants that should be avoided before visiting Iceland, and also to consult our handy guide to whale meat terms in Icelandic, so that tourists can avoid accidentally ordering the whale they watched only hours before.
We are also calling upon tour operators - particularly those based in the UK, US and Germany, as these are the countries sending most tourists to Iceland - to pass on this information to their clients.