Projects

Commercial Whaling Opposition - Iceland

After 14 years, Iceland decided to resume whaling activities

We make oceans safer and healthier without disrupting the livelihoods of people who depend on it. 

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#SaveOurSeas

We’re working with a broad coalition to put an end to whaling in Iceland. Again.

Problem

In 2003, the ban on whaling in Iceland was overturned. Only one member of parliament was opposed to whale hunting and 70 percent of the country supported it.

Beyond the touristic draw of whale meat as a traditional Icelandic cuisine, the argument for overturning the ban centered around the jobs whaling would create, and the positive impact that would have on the economy. IFAW couldn’t stand by and watch as progress was rolled back.

Solution

We launched a public awareness campaign, engaging with politicians at all levels of government, from Iceland’s parliament to Reykjavik’s local City Council. We visited 200 different schools, teaching the next generation about better alternatives to commercial whaling.

In the process, we found new partners as well. The Association of Icelandic Tourism Operators worked with us to bolster the country’s whale watching industry. With our Meet Us Don’t Eat Us campaign, we reduced demand for whale meat, and worked with the fishing and restaurant industries us promote alternatives to whale meat.

We help locals prepare, so they're ready when natural disasters strike.

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Educating Communities

Today, our work is paying off. Over one-third of the members of parliament oppose whaling. The number of restaurants that serve whale meat has plummeted, as has public demand for the product.

And with the support of the tourism industry, the government has reduced the size of whale hunting areas by 85 percent.

join our coalition against commercial whaling

Whale watching is on its way to replacing whaling. Get involved in supporting efforts to end commercial whaling in Iceland once and for all.

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Commercial Whaling Opposition - Iceland

We make oceans safer and healthier without disrupting the livelihoods of people who depend on it. 

See how
#SaveOurSeas
People Leading the Way
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