Iceland created an international uproar last October by announcing a return to commercial whale hunting. Annual quotas were issued totaling 30 minke whales and 9 endangered fin whales. To date, seven of each have been killed with the resulting whale meat relegated to cold storage, as hunters have been unable to find buyers domestically or in Japan. Chief among buyer concerns is the high levels of toxins in North Atlantic whale meat.
Not surprisingly, this outcome was predicted by conservationists at the outset, and Arni Finnsson from the Iceland Nature Conservation Association is looking like Nostradamus himself thanks to his comments made in October of 2006.
"There is no market for this meat in Iceland, there is no possibility to export it to Japan; the government appears to have listened to fishermen who are blaming whales for eating all the fish. This decision is giving the finger to the international community."
Icelandic whalers continue to insist on the need for continued hunts in order to build up markets. And despite this victory against commercial whaling, Iceland continues to hunt whales under the guise of "scientific research", the meat from which is also ending up unused in Icelandic storage facilities.