Iceland’s government recently announced that it’s temporarily suspending the hunting of fin whales. This step was taken in light of a report from Iceland’s Food and Veterinary Authority, highlighting concerns about the protracted duration of the killing process, deemed in violation of the country’s animal welfare laws.
Fin whales, known for their impressive size reaching over 20 meters, have been part of Iceland‘s commercial hunting since 2006. This practice was resumed after a hiatus that started in 1986, with Iceland standing among a small group of countries, including Norway and Japan, that still permit commercial whale hunting.
“I have decided to suspend all whaling operations,” declared Svandis Svavarsdottir, Iceland’s Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries. “This activity cannot continue in the future if the authorities and the license holders cannot ensure the fulfillment of the welfare requirements,” she added. This decision underscores Iceland’s commitment to preserving marine life and the overall health of our oceans.
Svavarsdottir is also set to engage with experts and whale hunting license holders to explore further restrictions on whaling in the future.
This dialogue is a critical step towards a more sustainable coexistence with our oceanic friends, shedding light on the essential balance between commercial practices and animal welfare.
The temporary halt on fin whale hunting is active until August 31, giving space for discussions, reevaluations, and the development of potential new policies.
This pause is a much-needed respite for the fin whales, the second-largest species on earth, who have been subject to unsustainable hunting practices for years.
This recent development out of Iceland showcases a significant stride towards improved animal rights.
It offers hope that nations around the globe can adjust their practices for the betterment of our planet and the multitude of species that inhabit it.
This article by Josie Fu was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 22 June 2023.
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