Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
BELUGA WHALE SANCTUARY UPDATE:  Little Grey and Little White arrive safely after move to bay care area

BELUGA WHALE SANCTUARY UPDATE: Little Grey and Little White arrive safely after move to bay care area

We can now confirm that two beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, are now...
Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

"What we are asking for are essentially school zones along our coast, areas where vessels...
Columbia-Snake Rivers plan condemned as failure for salmon, Tribes, communities

Columbia-Snake Rivers plan condemned as failure for salmon, Tribes, communities

"We recognize our responsibility to help save them from extinction, and stand ready to do...
Tahlequah’s Pregnancy and Why I’m Cautiously Optimistic

Tahlequah’s Pregnancy and Why I’m Cautiously Optimistic

Photo taken under NMFS Permit #19091 SR3/NOAA/SEA The summer of 2018 was perhaps one of...
I'm an Orca Hero!

Everyone can be an Orca Hero!

Orca Action Month is an annual time to gather the human community of the Pacific...
Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...
WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting...
We were SO close.

We were SO close.

We were so close. Because of the past couple of years, June makes me incredibly...

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?