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Activists and conservationists have long been calling for an end to whaling, as many whale species have been pushed to the brink of extinction. Whaling is not only cruel and outdated, but unnecessary for survival in our modern era.

While whaling has been illegal in most countries for decades, Iceland, Norway, and Japan continue the awful practice to this day. Their commercial whaling operations kill off hundreds or thousands of whales each year, but that may be changing soon: Iceland has just announced they’re going to end whaling in 2024!

According to CNN, Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, stated: “There are few justifications to authorize whale hunting beyond 2024…Japan has been the largest buyer of [Icelandic] whale meat, but its consumption is declining year by year. Why should Iceland take the risk of continuing fishing that has not yielded economic benefits, in order to sell a product that is in low demand?”

The country’s whale hunting quota ends in 2024, and they will not be adding a new quota. The news comes after Japan pushed to reintroduce commercial whaling off its shores over the past few years, and finally had success in 2019. Because Japan is now killing its own whales commercially, there’s less of a demand for the country to purchase whale meat and products from Iceland.

In addition, whaling has become more expensive in Iceland as no-fishing zones off the coast were extended, forcing whalers to go farther offshore to hunt.

The increased risks and costs, in addition to the dwindling demand, largely contributed to the decision for the country to stop the outdated practice of whaling.

Some things you can do to help whales: buy local to avoid cargo ships from hitting them, don’t pollute their environment with trash, reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, use cleaning products that aren’t bad for the environment, and have a Seaspiracy watch-party!

Now, we just have to get Norway and Japan to stop whaling and protect what species are left! Sign this petition telling the Norwegian government to end its whaling industry for good.

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