Iceland says it will end whaling by 2024, citing controversy and small economic benefit

Iceland has announced an end to commercial whaling by 2024, citing the controversial nature of the industry and dwindling demand.

“There are few justifications to authorize whale hunting beyond 2024,” said Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Svandís Svavarsdóttir in an op-ed in Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið. 

“Japan has been the largest buyer of [Icelandic] whale meat, but its consumption is declining year by year. Why should Iceland take the risk of continuing fishing that has not yielded economic benefits, in order to sell a product that is in low demand?” she continued.

Svavarsdóttir said only one large whale – a minke whale in 2021 – has been caught in Iceland in the past three years. Iceland was part of the 30-year international whaling embargo which was implemented in 1986, but left the treaty in 1992 and rejoined in 2002. Since 1986, about 1,700 minke, fin and sei whales have been killed in Icelandic waters.

Sei whales are classified as an endangered species by The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and fin whales are classified as a vulnerable species. 




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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