Icelandic whaling

A Minke Whale steak.

This report in Icelandreview, of a report on the economics of whaling in Iceland (see account in Icelandic here), suggests that the hunting of whales for their meat is of net economic benefit to the Icelandic economy and that it is not putting off whale-watching tourists.

The latter suggestion is difficult to evaluate without a full reading of the report, and it might well be true, but I would just point out that it is a difficult thing to assess. The fact that whale watching has increased over recent years cannot of itself be regarded as strong evidence for lack of a negative impact of whaling on the Icelandic economy. How would you measure the number of people boycotting Icleand because of whaling? As I say, I can’t read the report to find out how this was tackled, but it does need to be tackled properly.

There are some interesting facts about whaling in Iceland in the article too.

Several Minke Whale steaks, bones, connective tssue, blood etc swimming around.

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3 Replies to “Icelandic whaling”

  1. When I went whale watching in Iceland a few years ago, hoping to see minke whales. None showed. We had trouble finding somewhere we could eat when looking for a restaurant (expensive) on the last night there (we'd self catered to offset reeling from the prices). Finding somewhere which had neither whale nor puffin in the menu was a bit of a challenge. We ended up eating very good, expensive fish & chips. I liked Iceland but wouldn't go back again because of their policy on whaling.

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  2. Of course the fact that something is of net economic benefit to a country is not by itself a justification for carrying on doing it. I am pretty sure that the slave trade was of net economic benefit to Britain and other countries that were engaged in it but few would argue now that it was the wrong decision to end it.

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  3. And flying home last week on Easyjet I noticed in the January edition of their inflight magazine, that they were promoting an Icelandic beer. Made from Fin Whales' testicles. Is this a valid reason for killing them? Also makes me wonder about flying on Easyjet

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