You can't have your whale watching and eat them too. That's what Iceland is finding out. Whale watching boats have been having a hard time finding whales lately - so they've ventured further out, putting them close to the whaling area.
Here's a (roughly translated) snippet from Icelandic Whale Watching Association...
The truth is that [whale hunting boat] Jóhanna was very close to the whale watching area. On a whale watching trip that started at 5pm from Reykjavík harbor and that lasted till 9pm, the Jóhanna was seen while whaling at a distance of about 16 miles from Reykjavík. This cannot be called “on the far edge of the bay”, and is in very close proximity to the normal whale watching area.
In the past week, whale watching vessels from Reykjavík have had difficulties in finding minke whales in the usual whale watching area and needed to look for whales on the outer edges of the bay, where Jóhanna has been whaling. The Icelandic Whale Watching Association reaffirms that whaling and whale watching cannot coexist. To allow whaling so close to whale watching areas as has happened here is complete madness, except if the aim would be to crack down the whale watching business in Iceland. It’s the same animals swimming in the sea between whale watching areas and whaling areas.
Looks like Iceland is going to have to choose between hunting and watching. Guess which makes vastly more money. (Hint, the only shooting involves cameras.)
I've went whale watching in Iceland years ago. It was super cool, and the whole country is amazing. That said, I'm not going back until they stop whaling. Help the whale watching industry in Iceland. Join me by signing the Iceland pledge.