No fin whale will be hunted around Iceland this summer. Hvalur hf., which last year hunted 155 fin whales, has decided to cease all its whale hunting. The reason CEO Kristján Loftsson gives is difficulties getting the whale meat to market in Japan.
He asserts that there have been numerous hindrances placed in the company’s way by Japanese officials who insist doing chemical analysis of the meat, applying old-fashioned methods not used anywhere else. This, according to Kristján, they do despite the fact that a certificate of chemical analysis accompanies the meat from Iceland. If those practices won’t change, Kristján maintains Hvalur will not be able to do whale hunting for the Japanese market, which is its main customer.
He states that numerous attempts have been made to solve the issue, both with the help of the Icelandic ambassador in Japan and Icelandic ministers, who have discussed the matter with Japanese authorities, but to no avail. Had he know what was ahead, he told mbl.is, Hvalur would never have resumed whale hunting in 2009 after a 20-year break.