HAVE CAUGHT 128 WHALES DURING THIS SEASON IN ICELAND
STOP WHALING NOW
Stop Icelandic fin whaling with economic sanctions U.S.A. ~ Help Stop Icelandic Whaling
Petitioning Hjálmar W. Hannesson
Stop Commercial Whaling in Iceland
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 17:01
The whaling boats Whale 8 and Whale 9 are now sailing to shore with two fin whales each. Gunnlaugur F. Gunnlaugsson, manager at the whaling station in Hvalfjordur fjord, says that 128 fin whales have been caught during this season, but the quota is 154 fin whales.
The season began on July 16th and Gunnlaugur says that the rest of the quota will be used up during the next few weeks. "There are the final days" he said.
Gunnlaugur said that all the meat will be shipped to Japan, but it is unclear how much meat they will get from the whales.
"We are just hunting now and the rest will follow" said Gunnlaugur when asked when the meat will be shipped to Japan.
He added that the hunting has gone according to plan even though the weather has been quite bad this summer.
CALLS FOR BOYCOTT OF ICELANDIC FISH COMPANY IMPORTS TO UK
26.08.2013 | 12:50
Campaigners in the U.K are calling on Warners Fish Merchants Ltd, which supplies 8 per cent of Britain’s fish and chip shops, to halt imports from the Icelandic fishing company HB Grandi, due to its links with the whaling company Hvalur.
Clare Perry, senior campaigner for the Environmental Investigation Agency, argues that by purchasing fish from the import company, British consumers are effectively paying into the pockets of Icelandic whalers. “British consumers care deeply about whales and dolphins and would be horrified to know that the fish and chips they are buying put more money into the pockets of the Icelandic whalers,” she told independent.co.uk.
Owner of Hvalur, Kristján Loftsson, is chairman of the board of HB Grandi and the two companies have shared processing facilities, independent.co.uk reports. However, as Gary Warner, managing director of Warners Fish Merchants, pointed out, HB Grandi is not involved in the hunting of whales.
Whale-cutting Photo credit:
Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
ICELAND FIN WHALING SEASON
11.09.2013 | 12:08
Bad weather has interrupted fin whale hunting by Icelandic whaling company Hvalur in recent days and as the forecast does not look promising, company representative Gunnlaugur Geirsson said they will decide next week whether to continue with whaling this season.
A total of 121 fin whales have been caught and processed at Hvalur’s whaling station in Hvalfjörður, West Iceland, this summer. The quota allows for 20 more whales to be caught this season, which will soon come to an end, ruv.is reports.
In other news, inhabitants in West Iceland took advantage of the beaching of ten pilot whales near Rif on Snæfellsnes last weekend. Legally, they were allowed to take the meat, but according to a veterinarian, the right procedures weren’t followed.
Whaling Photo (c) Icelandic Photo Agency.
PILOT WHALES BEACH IN WEST ICELAND
09.09.2013 | 10:52
Photos: Pilot Whales Beach in West Iceland
Up to 100 pilot whales swam into the harbor at Rif in Snæfellsnes, West Iceland, on Saturday. Attempts were made by local residents to direct the whales back out to sea but around ten whales died.
Around 200 people—both locals and tourists—gathered on the beach yesterday afternoon to view the dead whales, with some people cutting the meat from the carcasses to take home, ruv.is reports.
However, Róbert Arnar Stefánsson, biologist at the West Iceland Institute of Natural History, says that proper procedures were not followed when the whales drifted into the harbor.
According to Róbert, the chief veterinary surgeon should decide on the right path of action and whether to kill or try to save the whales. He points out that a rifle should be used to kill the whales if they cannot be saved and that if the animals lie motion-free that does not necessarily mean that they are dead as they usually only breathe once per minute.
Róbert told ruv.is that it is difficult to know whether it would have been possible to save the whales but that using knives to cut the meat would have been very painful if the whales had still been alive.
It is not yet known why the whales swam into the harbor. “They were clearly distressed and frightened,” he said.
Róbert warns against pregnant women and those with underlying diseases eating the meat due to high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
Photos: Courtesy of Stefán Ingvar Guðmundsson.
Tell President Obama to:
Protect the Atlantic from Seismic Airgun Testing
Affects Endangered Right Whales, Dolphins and Marine animals
WDCS Seeks US Trade Sanctions Against Iceland Over Whaling
Led by WDCS, nineteen conservation and animal welfare groups
representing tens of millions of U.S. citizens are calling on
the US Secretaries of Commerce and Interior to impose
trade sanctions against Iceland for its escalating defiance of
international agreements on commercial whaling.
A petition filed by WDCS on behalf of the ‘Whales Need US’
coalition and Species Survival Network, urges US authorities
to bring into force U.S. conservation legislation known
as the Pelly Amendment against Iceland, a move that could
deal a death blow to Icelands out of control whaling industry.
The Pelly Amendment authorizes the US President to impose
trade sanctions against another country if it fails to adhere
to recognized conservation agreements; in Iceland’s case,
the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which bans
commercial whaling, and the Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species (CITES), which prohibits international
commercial trade in whale products.
Iceland is guilty on both counts, having resumed commercial
whaling in 2006 and dramatically increased its self-allocated
quotas in 2009 to include 150 fin whales (an endangered species)
annually. Iceland’s export of whale products have also sharply
increased; in 2010, Iceland exported more than 800 tonnes of
whale meat, blubber and oil, worth more than US$11 million, to
Japan, Norway and the Faroe Islands and made illegal shipments
of whale products to Latvia and Belarus.
The petition filed by WDCS provides the US government with
the evidence it needs to act urgently and decisively to impose
significantly stronger measures against Iceland and its whaling
The US certified Iceland under the Pelly Amendment in 2004 for
its so-called ‘research whaling’, but President Bush declined to
impose trade sanctions at that time. However, the Obama
administration is taking a fresh look at Iceland’s renegade
whaling and trade, and WDCS applauds the US for recognizing
that more must be done to stop this senseless killing.
Specific Icelandic companies have been identified as potential
targets for trade sanctions in the petition, and these include major
seafood industry players that are directly tied to Iceland’s
whaling industry. At the center is Icelandic fin whaling company,
Hvalur, Sue Fisher of WDCS explains.
“Iceland’s actions meet the conditions for Pelly sanctions,
and we’ve provided the U.S. government with the information
necessary to carry out sanctions by identifying the ‘Hvalur Group’
and its associated companies, including HB Grandi,
Iceland’s biggest fishing company.
“The petition exposes Hvalur Group’s links to Iceland’s whaling
industry through shareholdings, board memberships and
investments. It also provides a description of companies’
activities, their support of and ties to whaling, and details
the commodities they are known to export to the United States.”
“Now is the time for the US to take robust measures against
Iceland for its continued defiance of international law,”
said Taryn Kiekow, staff attorney for the U.S.-based
Natural Resources Defense Council. “Iceland’s commercial
whaling policy is considered archaic and cruel by the rest of
the world and we ask the US to impose trade sanctions against it.”
Minke Whaling Zone in Southwest Iceland Extended
7~8~2013 | 13:15
Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson suspended the decision of his predecessor Steingrímur J. Sigfússon on Friday on extending the reserve for minke whales in Faxaflói bay off Reykjavík, restoring the bay’s whaling zone to its former size.
Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
Sigurður backed his decision up by a statement, saying Steingrímur’s decision was “neither based on scientific viewpoints nor the interests of minke whaling in the area.” Sigurður also pointed out that 80 percent of minkes are caught within the border of the reserve Steingrímur was trying to create, Fréttablaðið reports.
“There are also no scientific arguments for decreasing the off-limits area,” pointed out Rannveig Grétarsdóttir, managing director of whale watching company Elding. “It’s just politics,” she commented.
Rannveig added that in the past two months, since the extension of the reserve, minkes have been unusually tame and more whales were spotted on each tour.
Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, managing director of minke whaling company Hrefna, said after the reserve was extended, the company’s whaling vessel Hrafneyður had to be operated from North Iceland.
“But now with this decision, another whaling operator will hunt in Faxaflói,” Gunnar added, revealing that whaling will probably resume in the bay this week. Hrafneyður will likely follow in August.
Gunnar stressed to RÚV yesterday that all minkes have been caught far away from whale watching boats, stating that there have not been any collision between the two industries.
The hunting quota for minke whales this season is 229 animals. Meanwhile, Iceland’s commercial fin whaling has provoked protest from Greenpeace.