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Iceland Mag


All whale meat removed from store shelves in Húsavík

  • Húsavík harbour The rapidly growing whale watching tourism has fueled the rapid growth of the economy of Húsavík which aims at becoming the "Whale Capital of Iceland". Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson.

All whale meat has been removed from the shelves of grocery stores in the town of Húsavík, North Iceland. Thanks to an agreement between the whale watching firm North Sailing in Húsavík and Samkaup, which operates the only grocery stores in town, the town‘s grocery stores will be whale meat-free. Húsavík, which is one of the most popular destinations for whale watching in Iceland and home of the Whale Museum, has in recent years sought to market itself as the “whale capital of Iceland.”

Gústaf Gústafsson, head of marketing for North Sailing, told Iceland Magazine that the agreement was very important for the company and the rapidly growing whale watching sector in Húsavík.

“Whale hunting and the sale of whale products have been in complete opposition to the policy of North Sailing and our work to make Húsavík the Whale Watching Capital of Iceland. It is also at odds with the interests of the Icelandic whale watching sector in general. It’s therefore important and highly symbolic that whale meat is removed from stores here in Húsavík.”

Read more: Former whale hunting boat becomes an Eco-friendly whale watching vessel

North Sailing already operates eight whale watching boats. A ninth vessel, an old oak boat which had operated as a whale hunting vessel, is being repaired and refitted with an electric motor, making it the most eco-friendly whale watching boat in the world, Gústaf told Iceland Magazine. Another Icelandic built oak boat was also recently added to the fleet, bringing the total to ten.

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