Puffin hunters of Bjargfélagid hunting association in the Westman Islands, off Iceland’s southern coast, decided in a meeting on Monday to continue hunting puffins until August 15 like they would normally do.
The puffing hunting season began two weeks later than usual this year, because few puffin chicks have survived for the past few years, 24 Stundir reports.
Bjargfélagid therefore met to discuss whether puffin hunting should be discontinued, but concluded that it is likely that more chicks will survive this year since there are more sand eels in the ocean surrounding the islands.
According to Morgunbladid, the Iceland Marine Research Institute has indeed found more sand eels in Icelandic waters than last year.
Next weekend the Westman Islands will celebrate an annual outdoor festival where puffins, a local delicacy, will be served according to tradition. Members of Bjargfélagid say that despite lack of puffins for the festival, they will hunt in moderation.
Originally, Bjargfélagid had only intended to hunt puffins until July 31, but due to bad weather at the beginning of the season, hunting has not been successful this year.
Erpur Snaer Hansen, director of ecological research at the South Iceland Nature Institute, said he had first noticed dead puffin chicks in the Westman Islands on Saturday. Hansen said if this development continues, the institute will recommend puffin hunting be discontinued.
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