Tourists visiting Iceland wishing to see whales, should be careful they get exactly what they are expecting after a company has launched a moreâ€¦unusual tour.
The ‘Whale watching with Whalers’ tour promises a four hour tour aboard a whaling ship as they hunt for Minke whales.
The first trip is scheduled for August and offers tourists not only the chance to see minke and other ‘common’ whales but also to “see and hear shot from our harpoon”. Following this the participants can taste the grilled and raw whale meat for themselves and the opportunity to see the internal organs of the minke whales.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) currently report that in Iceland 35-40% of all minke whale meat is eaten by tourists and they may in fact be supporting the whaling industry. They state:
"For it's probably just one of those things they 'have' to try while they're over there; when in Rome, and all that... the irony is that fewer and fewer residents of the country are choosing to eat whale meat now."
Whale Watch reports that it can take anything from 2-3 minutes to one and half hours for a harpooned whale to die.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) introduced a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986. Iceland has continued to ignore this moratorium and in 2009 the Icelandic government increased its quota for Minke whales to 100 a year.
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