Iceland raises whale hunt quota

The quota for the hunting and killing of minke whales will be increased by 6 per cent. Photo / File
The quota for the hunting and killing of minke whales will be increased by 6 per cent. Photo / File

Iceland says it will increase its quotas for whaling next year - a move likely to intensify international condemnation of the practice.

The country's fishing ministry said the hunting and killing of minke whales would be increased by 6 per cent, from 216 in 2013 to 229 in 2014.

The hunting quota for rorquals - which includes blue whales, humpback whales and fin whales - remains unchanged at 154.

This year Iceland's whalers did not reach the quotas permitted by their government, killing only 134 rorquals and 38 minke whales.

Since it resumed whaling in 2006 despite an international moratorium, Iceland, with Norway, has come in for furious criticism from environmental groups and other countries.

Icelanders eat little whale meat, and most of the catch is sent to the Japanese market.

Japan also hunts whales, but qualifies the activity as scientific research even though whale meat finds its way to its restaurants.

Australia and New Zealand have taken Japan to the International Court of Justice in The Hague over the country's whaling.

The court in July said it was deliberating on the issue and would give its verdict at a future date.

- AAP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 20 Sep 2014 20:48:19 Processing Time: 734ms