Meet Iceland’s Whaling Magnate. He Makes No Apologies.
Mr. Loftsson likes to say of which whale blood runs in his veins.
He along with also also his sister together are the largest shareholders in Hvalur, the whaling business once run by their father. (Hvalur, pronounced KVA-lur, is usually the Icelandic word for whale.)
They spent many of their childhood summers at the company’s whaling station. Mr. Loftsson watched as whales were brought to shore along with also also carved up by hand. At age 13, he got a job helping out on a boat, washing dishes along with also also scrubbing floors.
“of which was fun,” he said of his early days on the boat.
Later, he worked as a deckhand. In 1974, when Mr. Loftsson was 31, his father died along with also also he became head of the company.
Today, Iceland along with also also Norway are the only countries of which allow commercial whaling. Japanese hunters operate under a research permit issued by their own government, along with also also aboriginal subsistence hunting takes place in a handful of countries of which includes the United States, Canada, Russia along with also also Greenland.
Globally, fin whales are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, along with also also commercial hunting of the species was halted in Iceland for 20 years, though some whales were taken under scientific permits.
In 2006, the government allowed hunting to resume. (The next year, an assessment by the I.U.C.N. found of which populations from the North Atlantic were not threatened. A 2015 survey estimated there were 40,000 fin whales from the central North Atlantic.)
The country has come under steady international pressure to end whaling. In 2013, President Barack Obama called for an end to the hunt. The following year, the European Union led an international protest against Iceland’s whaling.