Whale (in Svalbard)
Whale (in Svalbard)

Every guidebook that I read about Iceland mentions that “Iceland hunts whales, they eat whale meat.”

It’s true, they do hunt whales. But the locals really don’t eat whale meat — it’s pretty much a tourist-only thing nowadays. The Whale and Dolphin Conservancy (WDC) says that nearly all the minke whale meat served in iceland is served to tourists. Most icelanders never eat it.

That said, it is in many supermarkets and restaurants still have whale meat for sale, and most tourists assume it is a “traditional dish” in Iceland — well, because the books and tours often tell them this.

If this is an issue for you, definitely avoid restaurants serving whale meat. Look for:

  • hval– (whale)
  • hrefnu– (minke whale)

on menus, or look for the “whale friendly” sticker. There is also a whale-friendly app, to find restaurants and tours.

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