Musings, politics and environmental issues

Clearly, some people are optimistic by nature. Iceland’s hunting of fin whales has been in the limelight as no one will transport the meat to Japan and the meat that had gone to Rotterdam and Germany has now been returned to Iceland. Nevertheless, last heard (a few days ago), 75 fin whales had already been caught this season – more than had been caught previously over a whole season.

Twenty-seven minke whales have been caught so far this summer. The Association of Minke Whale Hunters has complained that minke whales are hard to find in Faxafloi bay near Reykjavik, which has always been one of their main haunts, and so the whaling boats have gone to the north instead. Now they say they have seen numerous humpback whales on their travels, and they want to start catching them as well. Sverrir Daniel Halldorsson from the Iceland’s Marine Research Institute says it would be sensible to start a five-year programme of scientific whaling of humpbacks, taking about 10 whales a year.

Iceland and Japan have practised “scientific whaling” in the past, but the meat and other whale produce was not thrown away. I guess the produce would be used within Iceland in this case, but if they want to start commercial whaling of humpbacks, there could be substantial overseas protests. But as I said to begin with, some people are optimistic by nature.

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