Iceland allows more than 2,000 whales to be killed

The Icelandic government has announced that whaling will be permitted for at least another five years.

    2019/03/01

NSFW    REYKJAVIK, ICELAND — Iceland's government has announced it will be allowing whaling companies to kill more than 2,000 whales within the next five years, reports the Associated Press.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute Iceland has had a bumpy relationship with the International Whaling Commission after it imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling back in 1986.

Iceland withdrew from the IWC but came back in 2002 and continued to hunt whales under a special permit that allowed them to kill protected species under the guise that it was being done for scientific purposes.

Now, the Icelandic government is allowing whale hunters to kill over 2,000 whales per year over the next five years.

The Associated Press reports that the Icelandic government has announced that whaling will be permitted for at least another five years.

Iceland's Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Kristjan Thor Juliusson announced that whalers would be allowed to harpoon 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales every year until 2023.

The World Wildlife Fund lists fin whales as an endangered species.

Iceland has four harpoon-equipped vessels. According to the Directorate of Fisheries, in 2018, they hunted 5 minke whales and 145 fin whales.

According to the University of Iceland, whaling is profitable for the country, bringing in roughly $11.8 million per year between 2009 and 2017.

However, the AP reports that politicians are increasingly opposing whaling practices as they believe it damages the country's image and affects tourism which is a growing industry in the country.

Last December, Japan announced it would be withdrawing from the IWC in order to resume commercial whaling for the first time in 30 years.
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