Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Mon August 08 2016

Tourism Is Forcing Iceland to Reconsider Whaling

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | August 08, 2016

Tourism Is Forcing Iceland to Reconsider Whaling

PHOTO: Skogafoss Falls, Iceland. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock) 

Iceland’s tourism boom is forcing the country to reconsider its policies on whaling. Japan is most well known for defying the International Whaling Commission's ban on hunting whales, but Iceland and Norway both still practice the abhorrent killing of these majestic creatures. 

In 2006, after a period of forgoing the practice, Iceland began commercial whaling once again, says an article on Australia’s ABC. The whale meat is marketed as a tradition but, according to ABC, only 3 percent of the population actually eats it. 

"The only people eating whale in Iceland are tourists in the misconception that it's an Icelandic tradition," a Sea Shepherd spokesman told the network.

And the industry seems to be driven by the efforts of one man, Kristin Loftsson, CEO of Iceland’s largest commercial whaling company, Hvalur hf.

READ MORE: Why Iceland Is on Everyone’s Travel Radar This Year

"People go whale watching and then they eat whale meat afterwards, and they love it - it's a good meat," Loftsson said to ABC.

However, protests are making a difference and a booming tourism economy is creating challenges for the industry. Read up on how the opposition is changing the whaling industry in Iceland here.

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