Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, managing director of the Association of Minke Whale Hunters, said members are hopeful that the Ministry of Fisheries will issue a quota for 200, even 400, minkes next season, up from 40 last year.
Whaling boat Hvalur 9 with its catch. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“Then we only hunted for the local market but now we are thinking of selling 90 percent of the meat to Japan. Demand is certainly there; we could easily sell the meat from 1,000 animals if we had the permission to hunt them,” Jónsson told Fréttabladid.
“It is time to start doing this for real,” Jónsson added.
Jónsson stated that if Minister of Fisheries Einar K. Gudfinnsson would follow the advice of the Marine Research Institute in regards to minke and fin whale hunting, he could create 200 to 300 new jobs in Iceland.
The association has been looking for a suitable location for a whale meat processing plant in Akranes, west Iceland.
Chairman of the Akranes town council, Gunnar Sigurdsson, was quoted on west Iceland news web Skessuhorn saying that such operations would create 30 new jobs and that local authorities would welcome it.
Click here to read more about whaling in Iceland.