The outgoing administration in Iceland has substantially raised the country’s whaling quota, reports the BBC.
The new quota would allow the killing of 100 minke whales and 150 fin whales annually for the next five years, although it may be overturned by the incoming interim administration. The prior quota for minke whales was 40 per year, while a total of 7 fin whales have been killed in the previous three years.
Icelandic merchants have been working to boost demand for whale meat by devising innovations such as whale sushi, vacuum-sealed marinated whale meat, whale pepper steak, and whale schnitzel. Iceland faced tourism boycotts when it resumed whaling in 2006.
The CEO of Hvalur hf, the only company that hunted Fin whales last year, estimated that “an annual catch of 150 fin whales could generate seasonal employment for up to 200 people” according to the BBC.
Richard Black. Iceland sets major whaling quota. BBC News 27 January 2009