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Iceland recently announced that its long-time annual whale hunt is coming to an end; citing an extended no-fishing zone, coronavirus social distancing regulations, increasing interest in whale watching and declining exports to Japan as reasons why they won’t be hunting this year. Workers at the Hvalfjordur whaling station in Iceland cut up fin whale meat in 2015. The decision, celebrated by animal rights advocates, is largely profit-based . This is the second year that Iceland has opted out of whaling. The two Icelandic whaling companies: IP-Utgerd and Hvalur hf, both halted operations. According to Hvalur hf CEO Kristján Loftsson, coronavirus social distancing regulations would make their usual processing of whales impossible. Additionally, the extension of no-fishing zones would require travel further offshore to find whales. Finally, competition with Japan is at an all-time high with new government subsidies for Japanese whale meat. A moratorium on commercial whaling was established in 1986, however Norway, Japan and Iceland have continued whaling despite the international agreement. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), over 30,000 whales have been killed by the three countries since the moratorium was established. Whales have been hunted for millennia for their meat, oil, bones and baleen (keratin […]

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