Conservationists Sue Whaling Company

Wildlife and nature conservation organization Jarðarvinir has sued whaling company Hvalur hf. for the violation of whaling laws, Vísir reports. Ragnar Aðalsteinsson, Jarðarvinir’s attorney, says he believes Hvalur hf. broke the law and violated their whaling licence by killing a hybrid whale last June. “The hunting licence is limited to fin whales. There is no exception from that in the hunting licence or anywhere else. We believe it’s worthwhile to try to determine whether it is punishable to hunt a whale though it is a hybrid, if it cannot be considered a fin whale,” Ragnar stated.

Hvalur hf. was the subject of controversy in June when it was believed they had killed a blue whale. Genetic analysis later determined the animal in question was a rare fin/blue whale hybrid. The company’s licence only applies to hunting fin whales. Though hunting of blue whales is illegal in Iceland, there is no legislation specifically protecting hybrid whales.

In the lawsuit, Jarðarvinir also asserts that Hvalur hf. has not complied with regulations governing their operations between June 2010 and May of this year. Fréttablaðið reported earlier this week that the company has never followed strict rules on whale meat processing which came into effect in 2010 but were relaxed by Minister of Fisheries Kristján Þór Júlíusson earlier this year. The regulations required the company to slaughter whales indoors and as soon as they are brought onto land, a process it did not carry out.

Ragnar also questions whether the minister of fisheries was permitted to change regulations on whale meat processing at the beginning of the summer, as such regulations are usually governed by an international regulatory framework. “It’s a question of whether there is permission anywhere to grant an exemption from those regulations by a government decision.”

Dinner Delivered by Drone

A Reykjavík retailer now offers home delivery by drone, RÚV reports. Iceland’s largest online retailer, Aha.is, began offering the delivery method to Reykjavík residents yesterday, following an extensive trial period last fall. The development makes the Icelandic capital one of the first cities in the world to offer the delivery method.

“We have nine specially trained staff members in this who have attended a course in meteorology, safety, and drone piloting,” stated Maron Kristófersson, one of the owners of Aha.is.

The drone currently in use can deliver orders of up to 3kg of products such as books, electronics, or even food, though it does not fly in strong winds. Its forthcoming successor is expected to carry more, fly farther, and withstand rain, snow, and wind.

Besides being more environmentally friendly than traditional delivery methods, drone service can shorten delivery times and lower costs.

The company is licensed to operate some 15 flight routes and delivery locations, but home deliveries are also an option. “People can receive a delivery in their yard if they live on the outskirts of their neighbourhood, so long as they get consent from their neighbours,” stated Maron.

Rather than landing, drones drop their package down to the receiver on a wire. Customers receive a text when the drone is on its way and are able to track its flight in real time. When the drone has arrived, another text message is sent. A test delivery made for national broadcaster RÚV took under five minutes to deliver a package on a route nearly 3km (1.9mi) long.

Police Look for Björn Daníel Sigurðsson

Update: Björn Daníel has been found and is now in police custody.

​Björn Daníel Sigurðsson is wanted by Reykjavík capital area police, Vísir reports. Björn Daníel was required to begin serving a four-year sentence on Saturday for physical assault, threats, and sexual assault against his former common-law partner, but failed to present himself to authorities.

Björn Daníel is 26 years old, 180cm (5’10’’) tall, and weighs around 80kg (176lbs.). He was last seen wearing sportswear and white shoes.

Individuals with information about Björn Daníel’s whereabouts or movements are asked to call police immediately at 112.