My first attempt at activism involved a whale. I was 8 years old and my childhood friend Anna Sóley and I wrote an article for the newspaper. Well, I visualised it being at least a half-a-page article, and remember being quite shocked and insulted when it was literally 13 lines of text in the “letters to the editor” section:
Keiko the killer whale was the main actor in the family drama Free Willy. At the time of the letter, he was kept in poor condition in an amusement park in Mexico City, having been transferred there from Oregon some years earlier. Despite the mere 13 lines we were the next day asked to come and discuss the matter on national radio. I remember being called out of class, driven to the studio and at some point one of us calling him “a poor fish with bad skin disease”. It was thrilling.
Keiko did in fact get back to Iceland years later, and it didn’t end so well. But nobody knew that at the time and I proudly believe our letter may have set the wheels in motion.
So! I think it’s time I try to save more whales.
You can sign an anti-whaling petition here. Eða hér, if you have an Icelandic kennitala.
Árni Sæberg, “Hvalur tapaði þremur milljörðum á hvalveiðum á áratug”. Vísir, 14.05.2023. https://www.visir.is/g/20232414286d/hvalur-tapadi-thremur-milljordum-a-hval-veidum-a-ara-tug
Chami, Ralph. “What a living whale is worth in The fight against climate change”. NPR, TED Radio Hour, 19.05.2023. https://www.npr.org/2023/05/26/1176770956/what-a-living-whale-is-worth-in-the-fight-against-climate-change
Chami, Ralph, Cosimano, Thomas, Fullenkamp, Connel and Oztosun, Sena. “Nature’s solution to climate change”. International Monetary Fund, December 2019. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/fandd/issues/2019/12/natures-solution-to-climate-change-chami?fbclid=IwAR0qISQB7p-R_wpYcGuFA7aOTW8ypbrLwCVT4pqmlf055fMFGK_XFAP2K5A
“History of Whale Hunting within Icelandic waters”. IFAW, 13.06.2018. https://www.ifaw.is/history/?fbclid=IwAR3MxwWOay0cMA2ipGfLnQLgvQ-4pvov7TFTwxCeX0DGV4PhFe2b06iS0Qk
“Japanese company stops sales of pet treats made from endangered whales” 04.06.2013. PetFoodIndustry.com. https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/3685-japanese-company-stops-sales-of-pet-treats-made-from-endangered-whales
Le Roux, Mariette. “Whaling: The hunters and the hunted”. 28.10.2016, Phys.org. https://phys.org/news/2016-10-whaling-hunters.html
Oddgeir Á. Ottesen. “Skýrsla nr. C19:01 Þjóðhagsleg áhrif hvalveiða”. Hagfræðistofnun, January 2019. https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=7321ce11-19ac-11e9-942f-005056bc4d74
Srivastava, Ratish. “How much is a whale worth?” Down to Earth, 12.08.2020. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/young/how-social-isolation-can-enrich-our-spiritual-lives-like-robinson-crusoe-70293
Valgerður Árnadóttir. “Rökin með hvalveiðum” Vísir, 16.05.2023. https://www.visir.is/g/20232415814d/rokin-med-hval-veidum?fbclid=IwAR25O2jrLk4AeRvFFiOpPjgVTmm-v3ze-qWrrf3i5hf57cIXRSFg08-dWo8
Þóra J. Jónasdóttir, “Eftirlitsskýrsla. Velferð hvala við veiðar á langreyðum á Íslandi 2022” 8.05.2023. https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/01--Frettatengt---myndir-og-skrar/MAR/Fylgiskjol/Hvalir_veiðar_velferð_2022_lokaskýrsla_MAST.pdf
Direct sources, general help and advice: Árni Finnsson og Katrín Oddsdóttir.