Minke Whale Stock Declining Skip to content

Minke Whale Stock Declining

According to a recent report from Iceland’s Marine Research Institute on numbers of Minke whales in Icelandic waters, the minke stock has declined by 24 percent since 2001.

According to a whale count from 2001 compiled by aircraft, there were 43,600 minkes in Icelandic waters, but last years count returned only 10,000 to 15,000 minkes in certain areas, which could be interpreted as a 24 percent decline in the total stock. Mbl.is reports

Gísli Víkingsson, one of the authors of the report, said that the matter had been discussed in the Science Committee North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission and it is believed that the likeliest explanation for this decline is that the minkes have migrated elsewhere for food.

Víkingson said there have been drastic changes in the waters around Faxaflói bay were the count was conducted. The stocks of sand launces and capelins, which are the main food for minkes, have been declining. The results of this can not only be seen in the declining number of minkes but also in the declining number of birds, fish, etc.

According to Víkingsson there is nothing that suggests that whale hunting has had any effect on the stock.

Árni Finnsson, the chairman of Iceland Nature Conservation Association, says this new data contradicts arguments made by The Icelandic Fishing Vessels Owners ( LÍÚ) and several MPs about the necessity to hunt whales to maintain balance in the ocean.

Read more about whaling here

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