The Icelandic fin-whaling company Hvalur hf. made a loss on its fin-whaling activities last year, according to annual accounts for the company. The company’s annual accounts show that it sold whale meat for ISK 1.055 million in 2014 but the expense of running the whaling ships and export-related expenses (presumably the shipment of whale meat to Japan on the freight ship Alma) amounted to ISK 2.011 million. The value of stock changes of whale produce was recorded as ISK 822 million, and thus the estimated loss of fin whaling was at least ISK 73 million.
Frozen supplies of whale meat were estimated as ISK 2.6 billion in September 2014.
Overall, though, Hvalur hf. recorded a profit of ISK 3 billion, mostly due to activities of its subsidiary Vogun hf. which owns a large part of the fishing companies HB Grandi and Hampiðjan.
The financial situation is not likely to improve this year either, with the ship Winter Bay being moored in Tromsö for 6 weeks. Also, Icelandic fish companies are extremely concerned at the moment because Russia is seriously considering banning the importation of Icelandic goods – most of which consist of fish – because of Iceland’s support for economic sanctions against Russia because of its role in the Ukraine crisis. Initially Russia banned imports from the EU and certain other countries but now it is considering extending the ban to Iceland. When US anti-whaling groups were encouraging boycotts of fish coming from Iceland due to Iceland’s whale-hunting activities, Icelandic fishery companies were not particularly worried because most of Iceland’s fish goes to Russia. Exports to Russia have increased almost five-fold since 2008. But now they’re really worried….
If Hvalur cannot depend on fishing profits from HB Grandi to keep it afloat, it will be in deep trouble.
UPDATE: Russia implemented the ban yesterday, August 13. And fishing concerns are extremely angry….