Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Great whales to be hunted in Iceland in the summer of 2018 for first time since 2015

By Staff

  • Cutting up the catch A fin whale being cut apart at the Hvalfjörður whaling station. Photo/Vilhelm

The whaling firm Hvalur hf has announced it plans to send its boats out to sea on June 10 to hunt for fin whales. Due to the limited market for whale products no great whales have been hunted in Iceland since the summer of 2015. Hvalur hf has exported its products to Japan.

Raw material for food supplements
Kristján Loftsson, the owner of Hvalur hf., told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that Hvalur has been searching for new markets for whale products. Among the things the company is looking into is using whale meat to manufacture food additives for human consumption. Other products, including the bones and blubber could be used for various raw materials for the food industry.

Read more: Only terrorist attack on Iceland: The sinking of whaling vessels in Reykjavík on 9/11 1986

Marine biologists with the Icelandic Marine & Freshwater Research Institute have determined that 161 fin whales can be shot in 2018 without a negative impact on their population in Icelandic waters. No fin whales were caught in 2016 and 2017. In 2015, the last year when fin whales were caught in Icelandic waters 155 animals were killed.

Read more: Whaler baffled by the internet, dismisses an on-line petition with million signatures

Kristján is one of the wealthiest men in Iceland. He is the largest shareholder in one of Iceland's largest fishing firms, Grandi hf. In addition to managing a number of investment companies Kristján is also the primary shareholder in Hampiðjan, a manufacturer of fishing gear. 


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