Iceland grants license to kill 128 fin whales in 2024

Iceland grants license to kill 128 fin whales in 2024

Iceland announced on Tuesday that it has issued a license to whaling company Hvalur hf. to kill 128 fin whales in 2024.

According to the government’s statement, the licensed hunting will take place in Icelandic waters, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The hunting season typically runs from June to August.

Last year, Iceland temporarily suspended the commercial hunting of fin whales due to animal welfare concerns.

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority estimated in a May 2023 report that 67% of the 58 whales monitored by boats died or lost consciousness quickly. However, it also noted that some whales were shot multiple times before dying, raising further welfare issues.

In September, officials allowed whaling to resume with stricter requirements on hunting methods and increased supervision.

Fin whales, the second-largest whale species after blue whales, have been the focus point of conservation efforts.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) imposed a ban on commercial whaling in the 1980s due to the number of whales going down.

Alongside Norway and Japan, Iceland is one of the few countries still practicing commercial whaling. The nation sets annual quotas for fin and minke whales, and most of the whale meat is exported to Japan.

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