Iceland increase whaling quotas for 2014

Controversy as Iceland resumes fin whale huntIceland has revealed that it has raised its whaling quotas for 2014 in a move that is expected to result in further international condemnation.

The North Atlantic nation’s fishing ministry said on Friday that it would increase the hunting and culling of minke whales by six per cent to 229 in 2014 – up from 216 this year. Meanwhile the quota for hunting rorquals – which includes fin whales, humpback whales and blue whales – remains at 154.

During this year’s season, Iceland’s whalers did not hit their maximum quotas set by the government, killing just 38 minke whales and 134 rorquals. Since resuming whaling in 2006, when it ignored an international moratorium, Iceland, as well as Norway, has faced widespread criticism from other countries and environmental groups.

People in Iceland rarely eat whale meat, and much of what is caught is exported to Japan.

Japan, which also hunts whales, maintains that it does so for scientific research, but whale meat can commonly be found in restaurants there. New Zealand and Australia have taken the Asian country to the International Court of Justice in The Hague over the issue. In July, the court said it was to deliberate and would give a verdict at a future date.