Sadly our planet’s whales face more threats today than ever before, including the cruelty of commercial whaling. There is no humane way to kill a whale and little market for whale meat. Despite this, the Icelandic government issued new quotas for hundreds of minke whales and endangered fin whales to be harpooned annually for the next five years.
I’m sure you agree that commercial whaling has no place in the 21st century. Responsible whale watching is a cruelty-free and profitable alternative to the cruelty of whaling.
Because we know that you care about future generations of whales, we have worked alongside Icelandic whale watch operators for many years to promote responsible whale watching. Iceland is one of Europe’s top destinations for whale watching and last year attracted 175,000 whale watchers.
By contrast, recent Gallup polling, that we commissioned, found just 3 percent of Icelanders have bought whale meat six times or more in the last 12 months. The survey also revealed 75 percent of Icelanders never buy the meat, with women and young adults even less likely to buy whale meat.
Whaling damages Iceland’s reputation, attracting criticism at home and abroad. In summer 2013, both ports and carriers in Europe publicly rejected the whale meat trade when containers opened at ports in Rotterdam and Hamburg were returned to Iceland and met with public protests at the killing of whales for products such as dog food.
Despite this, the latest whaling quotas allow 229 minke whales and 154 fin whales to be slaughtered every year for five years.
Please join me in calling on the Icelandic government to stop supporting the efforts of Iceland’s whaling crusader, businessman Kristjan Loftsson, and a few others, and instead halt this cruel, outdated and uneconomic practice.
Thank you for your support for whales.
IFAW Program Director, Whales