News Column

Icelandic Whaling Company Scraps Fin Whaling Season

May 8, 2012

Iceland's main whaling company said it would not hunt for fin whales this summer after failing to agree on salaries with seamen, the Morgunbladid daily reported Tuesday.

Kristjan Loftsson, head of the company Hvalur, said it was not possible to compensate the seaman for cuts in state tax deductions, the report said.

The company had a quota of 150 fin whales this season and had planned to catch about 60 to 70 whales. Last year, the fin whaling season was cancelled due to falling demand for whale meat in Japan in the aftermath of devastating natural disasters there. Demand had not yet reached earlier levels, Loftsson said.

Iceland has, despite international protests, continued to allow whaling.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said it welcomed the news from Iceland and called for a halt to the hunting of minke whales off the North Atlantic country.

In April, whalers in Iceland and neighbouring Norway began the hunt for minke whales, the smallest of the seven great whales. They are up to 11 metres long, and can weigh up to about 8 tons.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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