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Stop Whaling in Iceland

Iceland is one of three countries that hunt whales and the only country to hunt fin whales, the second largest animal on the planet.

Timeline of recent events in Iceland

Jun 20th 2023

Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Svandís Svavarsdóttir announced a temporary whaling suspension through August 31, 2023. The Minister stated,"The conditions of the Act on Animal Welfare are mandatory. This activity cannot continue in the future if the authorities and the license holders can not ensure the fulfillment of the welfare requirements."  [Source]

Aug 31st 2023

Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir announced that whaling will be allowed to resume on September 1, 2023.

Aug 31st 2023

The Pirate Party introduced a bill to ban whaling and protect whales in Iceland has been referred to the Industrial Affairs Committee. The proposed bill has the backing of the Pirate Party, the People’s Party, the Social Democrats and the Liberal Reform Party. Pirate Party MP Andres Ingi Jónsson said the bill would bring whales under the protection of Iceland’s wildlife laws. The bill proposes making whaling illegal by repealing the Act on whaling, no. 26/1949, and bringing whales under the law on the protection, preservation and hunting of wild birds and wild mammals, no. 64/1994."  [Source]

Jan 22nd 2024

Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir, announced she is on medical leave and that Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir will act as minister in Svandís’ stead during her medical leave.

Jan 31st 2024

Iceland's last whaling company, Hvalur hf. filed for a renewal of its whaling licence for the next five years.

Apr 15th 2024

Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, a representative of the Left-Green Movement party, is the new Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries in Iceland.

Take Action

Please send emails to Ms Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir in support of the proposed law to ban whaling permanently.

PLEASE send one EMAIL to the Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries as soon as possible.

1) CLICK on email address to send your personalized message including YOUR NAME & DATE to

Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir <bjarkeg@althingi.is>


2) Copy & Paste the following to CC in your email to the Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries.

Bjarni Benediktsson, Prime Minister of Iceland <bjarniben@althingi.is>

Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir -  Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries

Petitions

Ban Whaling in
Iceland

Appeal for the release of Icelandic fin whaling footage

Join Icelanders in ending whaling

Reasons to end whaling

Whaling is not a humane process

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) released a report in May 2023 regarding the monitoring of whaling in Iceland during the previous season (2022).  The extremely concerning report concluded that 41% of the whales killed took over 11 minutes to die. Additionally, one whale took one hour to die and one took two hours. Of the 148 whales that were caught, two thirds of the whales were female, 11 of those whales were pregnant females, and one of those females was still lactating. This indicates a juvenile Fin whale, still reliant on its mother, may not survive as a result of its mother being killed. Of the 148 whales that were targeted, 36 whales (24%) were shot more than once: five whales were shot three times and four whales were shot four times. One whale with a harpoon in its back was chased for five hours without success. The whale that got away (possibly dying later from injuries or living injured and in pain) is referred to as "struck and lost".

Whales fight climate change

A 2019 report in the magazine of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that “each great whale sequesters 33 tons of CO2 on average, taking that carbon out of the atmosphere for centuries.” Rebuilding populations of large baleen whales would store carbon in their bodies equivalent to the amount in 110,000 hectares (272,000 acres) of forest, “an area the size of the Rocky Mountain National Park,” in Colorado, U.S., the authors of a 2010 paper in PLOS ONE calculated. This is why whales are “an extremely powerful ally in the fight against the climate crisis,” Cabrera said. [Source - IMF]  [Source - PLOS ONE]

Whales are worth more alive

"Our conservative estimates put the value of the average great whale, based on its various activities, at more than $2 million, and easily over $1 trillion for the current stock of great whales."  Referencing the value of each living Fin whale as approximately $3 million (as noted they are worth more than $2 million), that puts the value of Iceland's 161 Fin whale quota at approximately $483 million. They are worth far more alive as an ongoing resource and key species in helping maintain the health of our oceans. [Source - IMF]

Whale meat is not an 'Icelandic delicacy' 

84% of Icelanders said they have never tasted whale meat at all. [Source - ifaw]

Most of the fin whale meat is exported to Japan, where it is sold in vending machines. Minke whale meat is mainly sold to tourists visiting Iceland. However, it has become less popular in recent years due to outreach campaigns by Whale and Dolphin Conservation and other organizations.  [Source - WDC]

Watch

This video is a great resource for learning more about whaling in Iceland and why it should come to an end. This event was streamed live from The Nordic House in Reykjavík, Iceland. The video is available for viewing on Facebook (where it was Live-streamed).

The "If Only" campaign is a collaboration between Oceanic Preservation Society and artist Shreyans Zaveri. The campaign and artwork envisions a world where every whale matters and commercial whaling in Iceland - and everywhere - is a thing of the past.

Whales play an incredibly crucial role to the health of our oceans and planet, and contribute immeasurably in spirit to those aware of the awe-inspiring grandeur and grace of these magnificent and gentle Beings."

- Peggy Oki

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