Commercial minke whale hunting begins Skip to content

Commercial minke whale hunting begins

The commercial hunt for minke whales began on Friday when Njördur KÓ 7 caught the first minke, but has now been put on hold until scientific whaling, which begins tomorrow, finishes.

The total minke whale quota this season, which was issued by the government on October 17, 2006, is 74 animals; commercial hunters have permission to kill 38 minkes, while scientists have permission to kill 36, Fréttabladid reports.

“Scientific whaling will resume May 8 and we can’t mix those two together,” said Gunnar Bergmann, leader of the Union of Minke Whale Hunters.

According to Bergmann, three boats will hunt minkes for scientific purposes until June 25, during which 31 whales are scheduled to be caught. Five additional minkes are scheduled to be caught in September.

Commercial hunters take over after June 25 and have until August 31 to finish their quota. “We may not be able finish our quota if we have bad luck during that time,” Bergmann said.

The minke whale meat is intended for the domestic market.

“If the sale of whale products proves successful we can hardly be prohibited from hunting what the Marine Research Institute suggests,” Bergmann said.

The Iceland Marine Research Institute estimates that about 200 to 400 minke whales in Icelandic waters can be hunted every year without endangering the species.

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