The five-day unsuccessful puffin hunting season ended in Vestmannaeyjar, off South Iceland, yesterday. The practice has been banned in the islands over the past two years due to the poor condition of the bird stock.
Photo: Geir Ólafsson/Iceland Review.
Local puffin hunter Páll Scheving Ingvarsson told ruv.is that the wind direction had been unfavorable and that there had been lack of young prey.
For that reason hunters prefer that the season start in August or not to be limited to certain days when the weather conditions might be poor. “But I caught 16 birds in five days,” said Páll.
The local authorities’ decision to revoke the puffin hunting ban has been criticized. However, puffin hunter Eyþór Harðarson stated that they should be trusted to kill a small amount of birds each year for private consumption.
The annual puffin hunting season in Vestmannaeyjar used to last 55 days. Puffin is a local delicacy, traditionally consumed at the annual Þjóðhátíð festival on Heimaey, the archipelago’s largest island, the first weekend of August.
Vestmannaeyjar is home to the world’s largest puffin colony but in the past years the stock’s reproduction has been challenged due to lack of food for chicks.