Biologist Erpur Snær Hansen at the South Iceland Institute of Natural History (Náttúrustofa Suðurlands) said in an interview with mbl.is on Tuesday that the number of puffins hunted in Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands) up until 2010—it has since been banned—is almost double what is considered sustainable.
Photo: Geir Ólafsson/Iceland Review.
The puffin stock in Iceland numbers round 2.5-3 million birds. Around 77,600 birds were hunted in Vestmannaeyjar per year from 1968-2007 from a stock of around 830,000 pairs. However, sustainable harvesting is estimated at around 36,300.
According to Erpur, the log book records of the estimated 100-200 puffin hunters in Iceland do not match those registered by the Environment Agency of Iceland as they fail to report their catch accurately.