Whale Sanctuary in Faxaflói Bay to be Expanded, New Sanctuary Established in North Iceland



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  • The whale sanctuary in Faxaflói Almost all of the whales captured in Iceland in recent years have been captured inside the new and expanded sanctuary. Photo / Ministry of Fisheries

Yesterday, an important step towards whale conservation in Icelandic waters was taken when the outgoing Minister of Fisheries declared that two of the main habitats for many species of whales in Icelandic waters are closed to whaling. The two whale sanctuaries that were announced yesterday cover the main minke whale hunting grounds in Icelandic waters as well as the waters where most whale sightings take place. (See map below)

Read more: 335 minke whales captured since 2007, almost all within the proposed boundary of a whale sanctuary in Faxaflói Bay

According to the new executive decree, all whaling will be banned in the eastern part of Faxaflói Bay, the bay between the Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes peninsulas in western Iceland, as well as in the Eyjafjörður fjord. and the bay of Skjálfandi in the north of Iceland. Most of the whale watching companies in Iceland operate in these waters.

The new coalition government led by the left-wing Greens could overturn the regulation. However, as the left-wing Greens have supported the expansion of whale sanctuaries around Iceland, it is unlikely that Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannesson, chairman of the centrist Progress Party and predominantly rural, is fighting with the Prime Minister over the problem.


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