No whaling in Iceland in 2020

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No whaling in Iceland in 2020

For the second year in a row, Iceland will not be hunting whales in positive news for fin whales.

According to reports, Iceland's only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf, will not be conducting hunts this year, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company's owner, Kristian Loftsson, has said that the processing of whale meat will be too difficult due to the social distancing restrictions.

Loftsson also highlighted that market conditions are too difficult in Japan, making whaling unprofitable. Whaling in Japanese waters is subsidised by the Japanese government, meaning that it is difficult for Icelandic whalers to remain competitive.

The last fin whale hunts in Icelandic waters took place in 2018 where 146 individual fin whales were slaughtered, including pregnant females and two rare blue whale/fin whale hybrids.

ORCA Director, Sally Hamilton, said: "This is a big win for whales, and given the continuing decline in demand for whale meat in Iceland, hopefully this spells the end for whaling. The heavy reliance on the Japanese market to make whaling profitable is yet another sign that there is simply not enough demand in Iceland to warrant continuing this brutal practice, and we hope that this sad chapter in Icelandic history is finally drawing to a close."