Iceland has recently announced that it will ban commercial whale hunting in 2024, with the trade no longer being profitable due to spiralling downward demand for the meat.
The minister also reported that, in the last three years, only one single whale was killed, despite the fact they were allowed to be actively hunted during this time period. This gives the government a justified reason to not continue the practice.
The decline has been attributed to the withdrawal of Japan from the International Whaling Commission, which has triggered the demand of whale export from Iceland to drop significantly. Other factors which have contributed to the sharp decline include an extension of a no-fishing coastal zone, as well as whale processing plants becoming less efficient due to social distancing measures.
This is good news for many conservationists around the globe, as the trade has sparked much opposition over the years, with many arguing that the methods used to capture the whales are cruel. Others oppose whaling due to their beliefs that the species is endangered, therefore the practice should not be continued.