Iceland has become one of the best places in the world to watch whales in their natural habitat with thousands of guests from all over the world joining our wildlife tours every year. Whale watching is probably the best way to help the government and Icelanders understand that whales are worth more alive than dead.
Whale Watching vs. Whaling
It is evident that whaling and whale watching cannot co-exist. Whaling has no clear impact on fish stocks and has proven to be unprofitable and harmful of Iceland’s otherwise good global image. According to annual financial reports and recent studies conducted by the University of Iceland, it is evident that whale watching creates more than double the revenue of whaling.
For years, Elding has been among the strongest voices against whaling in Iceland and has actively fought against the unnecessary and cruel industry ever since it was resumed in 2003 as scientific whaling and in 2006 as commercial whaling. Our opposition is based on economical, socio-cultural and animal welfare principles. We believe that greater interests are being threatened by the current whaling scheme and we fear for the impact it may have on whale watching in the future. Icelandic authorities have just announced that whaling will resume with 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales to be slaughtered every year from 2019 until 2023. This could have devastating effects for the local whale population, and not to mention that these whales will never be seen on our whale watching tours again.
The future of whaling in Iceland
The whaling industry in Iceland is at a crossroads, where responsible whale watching and conservation efforts offer a more sustainable and ethical path forward. Additionally, the license for hunting whales expires at the end of 2023, and it is thought to be unlikely that it will be renewed, marking a significant turning point towards the preservation and protection of these remarkable creatures in Icelandic waters.
Make a Difference
Our experience is that knowledge and conversation strengthens our position and changes the mindset of locals and tourists towards whaling. Not long ago, most Icelanders where pro whaling. This has dramatically changed and recent surveys show that just over half of Icelandic population are now opposed to whaling. This attitude has also changed with most tourists who believed that whaling was Iceland's cultural heritage. It is not.
Whales are mainly killed to feed curious tourists. Help us end whaling by not eating whale meat during your stay, choose whale friendly restaurants and sign the meet us don't eat us petition. Skipping Iceland as a travel destination will do nothing. Please visit Iceland, do not consume whale meat and come whale watching to support the whales!
Elding's public statements on whaling:
Killing of a hybrid between an endangered blue whale and a fin whale in 2018
Elding, the whale watching pioneers from Reykjavík, Iceland, strongly criticize Hvalur hf for killing of a now known to be a hybrid between an endangered blue whale and a fin whale in Icelandic waters in July 2018.
The Icelandic Marine Research Institute has now announced that a DNA study of the whale killed by Hvalur HF proves that it is a hybrid between the endangered blue whale and fin whale. This again demonstrates how risky whaling in Iceland is when hunters cannot guarantee that they know the difference between whale species authorized to hunt and those strictly forbidden to kill and that the killing is done in a humane way.
In Iceland there is a long tradition of inhabitants living of their land and ocean and we have strict rules on fishing and hunting. The slaughter of sheep and hunting of reindeer is subject to strict rules and not to be practiced in inhumane ways, with penalties if not followed. There is only one reason why the same rules do not apply for hunting whales like other animals. Whaling cannot be done in a humane way which all real hunters should want.
So what is Elding doing against the whaling? Elding is among the strongest voices in Iceland against whaling and responsible whale watching is probably the best way for the government and Icelanders to understand that whales are more worth alive than dead. is among the strongest voices in Iceland against whaling and responsible whale watching is probably the best way for the government and Icelanders to understand that whales are more worth alive than dead. Elding Whale Watching has an active conversation with the legislature about whaling that is showing results, for example: when we were able to expand the whale sanctuary around Faxaflói bay last year. Elding is one of the oldest whale watching companies in Iceland and the original whale watching company in Reykjavik. Our method is to enhance knowledge and awareness of whales and feel that our work has had a major impact. Our experience is that the conversation and knowledge on whales strengthens our position and changes the mindset of locals and tourists towards whaling. This has also been effective. Not long ago, most Icelanders where pro whaling. This has dramatically changed and recent surveys show that just over half of Icelandic population are now opposed to whaling. This attitude has also changed with tourists who most of them believed that whaling was Iceland's cultural heritage, but that's not the case, and Elding has been an active participant in the “Meet us don‘t eat us“ campaign.
We need to look at our common goal, which is to stop the whaling, choose the most effective method and work towards it together. So please visit Iceland, do not consume whale meat and come whale watching to support the whales.
Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, to allows Hvalur hf. to continue whaling in 2023
Elding expresses its profound disappointment upon learning the decision announced yesterday by the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, to allow Hvalur hf. to continue whaling in 2023!
Our deepest concerns lie with the hundreds of whales that may now be subjected to this practice, as it stands in stark contrast to the principles of environmental stewardship and conservation that we hold so dearly.
Whales play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of our planet, and their protection is essential for the health of our oceans. This decision not only poses a threat to the fragile balance of marine ecosystems but also robs future generations of the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Five years ago, Elding published a statement condemning the killing of a hybrid between an endangered blue whale and a fin whale, which highlighted similar issues that are still being addressed to this day. It is extremely tragic that whaling continues to be allowed when it is impossible to guarantee that the killings are done in a humane way!
We call upon all stakeholders to unite in the cause of safeguarding our marine marvels; this needs to stop! Whales are worth a lot more alive than dead!