Iceland announced the end of their fin whale hunt this week, reporting a total catch of 137 whales. The company Hvalur hf, the only one in Iceland that still whales, said that the season was shorter this year due to inclement weather, though the total is still higher than last year's catch.
Whaling, which was banned by a global moratorium set forth by the International Whaling Commission in 1986, has been a source of contention for Iceland in recent years. Just this month, a coalition of 35 governments expressed their opposition to the country's program. In a formal diplomatic protest known as a démarche, the 28 EU member states and the governments of the United States, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Monaco and New-Zealand called on Iceland to respect the moratorium.
"Fin whales and minke whales are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I ... and we remain extremely concerned with Iceland's reservation, entered in 2000, for these and other cetacean species."