Source: The Good News Network
Whales off the coast of Iceland will be left alone by the end of next year after the nation’s Fisheries Minister announced the cancelation of all new permits for commercial whaling.
Once the current permits expire, ending after the 2023 season, it will be the end of the practice.
Even though hunting quotas are set around 400 fin and minke whales, only one whale was hunted last year, as there is simply no economic demand for it.
Whaling in Iceland only came to be in 1948, as a result of tourists falsely believing that it was a centuries-old traditional practice and that whale meat was a staple on the island when in reality it was only a sample dish for tourists in restaurants.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) conducted a study as part of their ‘Meet Us Don’t Eat Us’ campaign, which found that Icelanders believed whales were worth more alive than dead.
A Gallup poll found that only 2% ate whale six or more times a year and that 84% of Icelanders had flat out never tried the meat.
The “Meet Us” part of the moniker came from new economic feasibility data which found whales would generate more tourism revenue from being seen, i.e. through whale-watching than being eaten, and the campaign generated 175K signatures—the largest signature campaign in the nation’s history.
Transcend Media Service reports that hundreds of thousands of whale-watchers visited the northern European nation in 2019 to observe both the minke whales, the world’s smallest baleen whale, and fin whales, the world’s second-largest.