21 May 2014
Iceland And Norway Start Their Minke Whale Hunts
Minke whales are some of the smallest baleen whales and are summer visitors to UK waters. However, at this time of year minke whales are facing a threat in the form of Norwegian and Icelandic whaling. So far this year Norwegian ships have killed around 100 minke whales, and Iceland's have killed three. But with Norway and Iceland setting themselves the target of catching 1,286 and 229 minke whales respectively by the end of the season, many more may face this gruesome fate.
Whaling is the killing of whales for human consumption. A worldwide ban was placed on commercial whaling (making money out of whaling through selling whale products) in 1986 by a committee called the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Whilst the majority of countries follow the ban, some countries have found ways around the rules to continue killing whales for profit.
The hunts aren’t as popular as they once were, and are now taking place in spite of some interesting facts:
1) There has been a dramatic increase around the world in the number of people against whaling.
2) Locally, people in Iceland are not eating anywhere near as much whale meat as they have in the past so the demand for whale meat is falling.
3) Iceland has a large whale watching industry that makes money out of taking people to see the same whales alive in the wild.
WDC strongly disagrees with the continuation of commercial whaling . To find out more about whaling and how you can help with WDC whaling campaign work, please visit our Whales and Dolphins in Danger page.