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Puffin hunters shock tourists

A group of foreign tourists on a boat trip to the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />island of Akurey, close to Reykjavík, got more than they bargained for yesterday when they saw a man catching puffins in a net on the island. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

In an interview with the national radio RÚV the tour guide, Ásgeir Thórdarson, expressed his dismay at the hunting and said that many of the tourists had become very offended by it. Because of the rain, few passengers were on board, which was fortunate in Thórdarson’s opinion.

The puffin is the most common seabird around Iceland and it is legal to hunt it. In 2004 around 98,000 puffins were caught in nets, a significant decrease from 1995 when 215,000 puffins were caught, according to Statistics Iceland.

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