"Whaling in Iceland." Top 5 Page for this destination Iceland Local Custom Tip by Regina1965

Iceland Local Customs: 183 reviews and 248 photos

  Whalers in ReykjavÝk harbour.
by Regina1965
 
  • Whalers in Reykjavík harbour. - Iceland
      Whalers in ReykjavÝk harbour.
    by Regina1965
  • Whalers in Reykjavík harbour. - Iceland
      Whalers in ReykjavÝk harbour.
    by Regina1965
  • Stranded whales in Snæfellsnes. - Iceland
      Stranded whales in SnŠfellsnes.
    by Regina1965
  • Stranded whales in Snæfellsnes. - Iceland
      Stranded whales in SnŠfellsnes.
    by Regina1965
  • One of the whalers bringing in a small whale - Iceland
      One of the whalers bringing in a small whale
    by Regina1965
 

There is a lot of controversy on whaling in the world. And some misinformation. Icelanders hunt some types of whales, f.ex. the small mink whales. We have a quota for hunting 145 finbacks (langrey­ur) out of 20.000 around Iceland, but haven┤t used that quota. Finbacks are now on the watch list of IUCN, as there was massive overfishing of finbacks around the South-pole in the last century.

Iceland is close to the North-pole and these finbacks are only of the same under-species and don┤t travel from the South-pole to the North-pole. But still we get a lot of grieve because of this.

Finbacks are increasing in number around Iceland and humpbacks around Iceland have increased in number ca 10-15% a year! Mink-whales have decreased in number though. Not because of whaling though as our quota is only 216 mink-whales yearly, but we never even hunt so many whales. And the number of mink-whales has decreased from 40.000 to 20.000.

It is not sure why, but the stock of sand-launce, which they eat, has collapsed dramatically - also causing the artic tern problems, so that their chicks died of starvation for the past couple of years here in Iceland. So the mink-whale, which also eats cod and krill, has probably moved to other locations.

All in all Icelanders (some of us) have caught ca 15.158 leviathans since 1948. Out of them 2.644 have been sei whales (sandrey­ur), 2885 sperm whales, 2707 mink whales and 9461 finbacks. And 159 blue whales, but it hasn┤t been caught since 1959. And "we" stopped hunting humpback in 1954.

Some of these whales can become 100 years old.

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  • Updated Feb 10, 2014
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Comments (1)

  • briantravelman's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Yes, it is very controversial, but it's really no different than killing a deer or a hog, and a whale that size can feed a lot of people. The main issue they have with it, is the way they are hunted. I also think they kill too many whales during the annual hunt on the Faroe Islands. That's really the only problem I have with it.

    • Regina1965's Profile Photo
      Aug 23, 2014 at 1:34 AM

      Yes, I agree. I think we will stop hunting whales in the future, though.

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