Fewer minke whales in whale watching areas Skip to content

Fewer minke whales in whale watching areas

According to a statement from the Whale Watching Association of Iceland, the number of minke whales spotted in whale watching areas has dropped significantly since 2003, when the Iceland Marine Research Institute began whaling for scientific purposes.

The statement claims the Marine Research Institute has killed dozens of minke whales within designated whale watching areas despite the Ministry of Fisheries promising that no animals would be killed in these areas.

According to the statement, minke whales, which used to swim alongside whale watching boats, now tend to avoid them, destroying the experience of tens of thousands of tourists who whale watch.

The Whale Watching Association said in its statement that it celebrates the Minister of Fisheries’ Einar K. Gudfinnsson’s decision not to issue a new quota for commercial whaling for the upcoming fishing season since whale meat cannot be exported to Japan.

However, the statement says, the Association regrets the minister’s decision to renew the quota for minke whaling for the local market, which will further harm the whale watching industry.

The red dots represent killed minke whales and the dark blue areas the designated whale watching areas. The map was made by the Whale Watching Association based on information from the Marine Research Institute.

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