Ombudsman Criticizes Whale Hunting Postponement, Urges Regulatory Review

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has submitted his opinion regarding the complaint from Hvalur hf. regarding the postponement of whale hunting. He argues that the regulation on the postponement of the initiation of whale hunting lacks clear legal basis and has not adhered to the requirements of moderation. The Ombudsman points out that when the laws on whale hunting were enacted in 1949, their main objective was the protection and maintenance of the whale population. He emphasizes that these laws have not been revised in light of recent plans for animal welfare, as outlined by the International Whaling Commission.

The opinion includes a timeline of events from the inspection report by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) in 2022 to the recent opinion in January 2024. The Ombudsman sought information from the Ministry of Fisheries regarding the regulation on the temporary postponement of the initiation of whale hunting, which came into effect on September 1st of the previous year. He calls for a review of whale hunting regulations and directs the ministry to consider the perspectives outlined in his opinion for the future. The opinion does not specify conflicts or further actions, but the Ombudsman agrees with the explanations provided by the ministry regarding animal welfare considerations in whale hunting. However, he points out that moderation and the protection of the whale population should be the foundation of legislation in this area.


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Picture from Hafró


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