Iceland stops hunting minke whales, but only for this season

August 02, 2018 - 6:52 am

LONDON (AP) — One of Iceland's top whaling companies says it has stopped hunting minke whales this year, in response to a new government regulation that has enlarged the protected area for baleen whales.

Gunnar Jonsson, owner of whaling company IP-Utgerd Ltd said Thursday that the temporary halt to whaling comes about a month earlier than expected.

Jonsson said obeying the new rule would require sailing out further than normal to harpoon the whales and that to do so wasn't economically viable.

In a statement, the International Fund for Animal Welfare called the development "very good news for minke whales and for Iceland," but noted the country had simply imported minke whale meat from Norway.

Jonsson said his company would now focus on improving its boats for next year's whaling season.

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