Iceland, one of the only countries that still hunts whales commercially, along with Norway and Japan, plans to end whaling from 2024 as demand dwindles, the fisheries minister has said.
“There are few justifications to authorise the whale hunt beyond 2024,” when current quotas expire, Svandis Svavarsdóttir, a member of the Left Green party, wrote in Morgunblaðið newspaper.
“There is little proof that there is any economic advantage to this activity,” she said.
Demand for Icelandic whale meat has decreased dramatically since Japan – the main market for whale meat – returned to commercial whaling in 2019 after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
The hunt had also become too expensive after a no-fishing coastal zone was extended, requiring whalers to go even farther offshore.
Social distancing restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic also meant Icelandic whale meat processing plants were unable to operate as normal.
Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006 despite a 1986 IWC moratorium, which it had opposed. »