Tenth minke whale of 2016 Iceland season caught

Minke whale meat being landed in Hafnarfjörður.

Minke whale meat being landed in Hafnarfjörður. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Eggert Jó­hann­es­son

The tenth minke whale of the season was landed yesterday in the Greater Reykjavik municipality of Hafnarfjörður.

Two vessels have been hunting minke whales – the smallest of the large whales – since 25 April in the Faxaflói bay by the capital Reykjavik.

“It’s going very well now,” says Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, CEO of IP Fisheries, the operator of one of the whaling vessels.

“This time last year, we had only caught two minke whales, but the vets’ strike last year threw a spanned in the works.” Official State veterinarians must be present as each whale is landed.

The animals are cut up at sea and sent in large pieces for processing. From there, the fresh meat is sent to shops and restaurants.

According to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), minke whales are “clearly not endangered”, but “there has been an appreciable decline in their estimated abundance between the multi-year circumpolar surveys conducted between 1982/83-1988/89 and 1991/92-2003/04”.

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