ICELAND Humans have hunted whales for thousands of years, with the animal’s meat, blubber and baleen a source of food, oil and construction material. In 1986, with some species on the brink of extinction, the International Whaling Commission issued a moratorium on commercial whaling. Iceland, Norway and Japan, citing scientific research needs, never stopped.
In 2020, for the second year in a row, Iceland’s two remaining whaling companies decided to skip the summer hunt, with one of them, IP-Utgerd, announcing that it was stopping the practice forever. The companies’ reasons for ditching whaling are largely economic. In 2017, the Icelandic government expanded one existing whale sanctuary and added another, forcing whalers to travel farther offshore in search of their catch. Consumer demand for whale meat in Iceland, meanwhile, has steadily declined.
The country has also found a far less lethal way to make money off the wondrous sea creatures: whale watching. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of tourists going on whale expeditions grew by up to 34 per cent annually.
This shift, which has been praised by environmentalists like Árni Finnsson of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association, dovetails with a growing awareness of the relationship between climate change and marine life. “In Iceland, the ocean is considered grey and dangerous,” Finnsson says. “But I think we’re coming to an understanding that we have to protect it better than we have been.”
Removing Barriers to Library Access
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
News from the WORLD OF MEDICINE
EXERCISE PROTECTS THE DECLINING BRAIN
“ARE YOU READY?
EVERY SECOND MATTERED AS A TEAM OF SURGEONS RACED TO REPLACE SIX VITAL ORGANS IN TWO PATIENTS
Why Do You Ask if I Was a Neurotic Kid?
DESPITE REASSURING FRIENDS and strangers that I had loving parents and a stable upbringing, I’m often asked if I was a neurotic kid. My immediate response is always “No! Why would you even think that?”
The Wolf Who Trusted Too Much
Takaya roamed B.C.’s coastline with little fear that a human would harm him—until one did
How Can Canada Be More Accessible?
We quiz Jewelles Smith, disability activist
Virtual appointments are convenient and safe—but are they effective?
How an Ottawa kombucha maker helps people recovering from addiction
GOOD NEWS Five Reasons to smile
A SECOND LIFE FOR CHOPSTICKS
In lockdown, Mom and I were able to move past our clashing personalities and connect
A WORLD OF WORRY
Compounding crises have made everyone anxious, but how do you know if you’ve slipped into a more serious disorder—and what do you do about it?
Cruise amid the remote beauty of Greenland.
Into the Denmark Strait
A bristlingly cold gale whipped across the silvery North Atlantic and up the narrow fjord.
See the world through the viewfinder of one of the world’s foremost adventure photographers.
The new Ford F150 Arctic truck goes for a shakedown run in Iceland
Whether landscapes or wildlife, airline liveries tell a story from nose to tail.
SOME LIKE IT HOT...SOME PREFER NOT
When the promise of Caribbean sunburns and crowds have lost their luster, it may be time to head for cooler climates further north.
Land of Lights
Iceland is actually about 90% ice-free – and 100% charming
Iceland’s unlikely agricultural success
A Tribute to Orri Vigfússon, The Greatest Friend Wild Atlantic Salmon Could Ever Have
The Northwest's coolest upscale RV Park. A dune-side resort down under. A luxurious private island. A scandinavian Heli-Ski resort. From the world's new adventure frontiers to its best places to stay, here are Men's Journal's 2020 Travel Awards.