Whale Watching Turned Moby Dick

30 11 2012

The past few weeks we have been learning about marine protected areas and cultural heritage. Sometimes these clash… in a very graphic way.

Holy crap! Not peaceful at all. Greenpeace came to Iceland and it caused quite a stir since whaling is done within strict biological standards and is a cultural practice.

Imagine you decide to go whale watching, only to see harpoon whaling going on within a few hundred kilometers. This was the case for some vacationers. And absolutely not the experience they were looking for. One of our professors even recalled seeing a harpoon boat leaving port the same time as a whale watching vessel. Our other professor, a native Icelander, said that the Greenpeace opposition made the Icelandic will to whale all the stronger since it was an attack on Icelandic heritage.

There are only 3 whaling ships in Iceland. This ship, the Halldor Sigurdsson is docked in Ísafjörður harbor.

There are only 3 whaling ships currently operating in Iceland. The Halldor Sigurdsson (pictured above) is docked in Ísafjörður harbor. However, most of the time this boat trawls for fish.

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