Whaling Company Might Have License Revoked Skip to content

Whaling Company Might Have License Revoked

By Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson


The whaling company Hvalur hf has not turned in a hunting record for the last couple of years. This could lead to the company losing its licence to whale, which was recently re-issued for the next five years. The company does not intend to whale this year, in 2019. Hvalur hf. received a whaling permit valid from 2019 through 2023 yesterday from the Ministry of Industries and Innovation.

The ministry asked for inspection and comments from both the Directorate of Fisheries and the Marine Research Institue before handing out the renewed permit. The ministry specially asked the two institutions for comment on article 5 of the permit, which concerns the hunting record. The Directorate of Fisheries and Hvalur hf. have had a disagreement in the last couple of years regarding the turning in of the hunting records.

Detailed records not turned in
It is clearly stated in the newly released permit that a captain shall record the hunting in a journal, which will be provided by the Directorate of Fisheries. The hunting permit holder should then return the records on their own initiative, should the Directorate of Fisheries not already have asked for them. The journal should include information on ships, captains, shooters, hunting time, number of harpoons which hit finback whales, and the number of harpooned finback whales which get lost, to name a few of the items listed.

Eyþór Björnsson, director of the Directorate of Fisheries, says he has no explanations for why Hvalur hf. has not turned in the hunting record. The new rules should ensure that this doesn’t happen, while the Directorate of Fisheries can confirm that Hvalur hf. have not turned in any hunting records even though this new article is in place.

Kristján Loftsson, head of Hvalur hf., has not commented on the matter despite repeated attempts to reach out to him for comment, RÚV reports.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!