Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Credit: Seacoast Science Center

The Unlikely Adventure of Shoebert, a Young Grey Seal Who Visited an Industrial Park Pond

Credit: Seacoast Science Center In mid-September, our stranding partners in northern Massachusetts were inundated with...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Right whale - Regina WDC

Whale and Dolphin Conservation: Change Through Policy.

WDC focuses on education, research, conservation projects, and policy work to create a sustainable future...
Clear the list graphic

Clear WDC’s Amazon Wishlist for Giving Tuesday

UPDATE: We are thrilled to report that everything was donated off of our Amazon Wishlist...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...
The Codfather being good with Anvil kick feeding right next to them_0761 branded

Spout Spotters: Boater Safety Around Whales Online Course Launches

After countless hours behind the computer, bountiful snacks, and a few stress relieving walks with...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
65556ab2635fdab7b4e12265b9623d64

Stream to Sea: Orca Action Month 2022

This June was an exceptionally busy and exciting Orca Month, starting with a somewhat surprising...

Iceland’s minke whaler vows to continue hunting this year

Whilst fin whales off Iceland have a reprieve from the harpoons this summer, minke whales in those waters are less fortunate as minke whaler, Gunnar Bergmann Jonsson, defiantly declares ‘business as usual’. His company, Hrafnreydur ehf, killed 29 minke whales last year although he could have taken as many as 229 under Iceland’s self-allocated quota, which contravenes the global moratorium on commercial whaling.

Gunnar is reported in Icelandic media as commenting: “We intend to stick to our guns and keep going in the spring. The hunt maybe hasn’t gone as well [in previous years] as we would have chosen. We have been hunting about 30 whales a year, but we need about 50 to meet the demand.” 

Minke whale

He claims that last year, demand was such that the meat ran out and restaurants were forced to import minke whale meat from Norway. Yet this is a strange claim since very few Icelanders eat whale meat and even among tourists – traditionally the main consumers of the minke whale meat under the misapprehension that it is a ‘traditional dish’ – demand has halved in recent years due to public information campaigns by WDC and other NGOs.

I would also question Gunnar’s confident belief that, despite his company’s apparent difficulty in locating minkes in last year’s hunt, there are plenty of whales out there and they have merely changed their home range.  Such an assertion allows him to claim his hunts are ‘sustainable’: yet even scientists at HAFRO, Iceland’s pro-whaling Marine Research Institute, admit that they don’t know enough about the abundance, home range and behaviour of minke whale stocks in those waters. Surely, then, the precautionary principle should come into play and Gunnar Bergmann, too, should call time on his hunt?