In recent years Iceland has been killing a small number of animals annually but saying it was hunting them for “scientific” reasons, as does Japan.
Iceland’s current permits include 200 minke whales from 2003-07, of which 161 have been caught, leaving 39 for 2007. It will now allow whalers to harpoon a commercial quota of 30 minke whales and nine fin whales in the year to the end of August of 2007.
The huge fin whale, second in size only to the blue whale, the world’s largest animal, dropped in numbers catastrophically during the 20th century because of hunting. It is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.