In a move likely to bring an end to Iceland's controversial whale hunting, the government has announced the suspension of this year's hunt until the end of August due to animal welfare concerns. The decision follows a government-commissioned report that found the hunt to be non-compliant with Iceland's Animal Welfare Act. Animal rights groups and environmentalists have applauded the decision as a significant milestone in compassionate whale conservation. The suspension comes after video footage released by Iceland's Food and Veterinary Authority showed a whale suffering during a five-hour hunt, prompting concerns about the welfare of the animals. The country's only remaining whaling company, Hvalur, holds a license to hunt fin whales until 2023, but it is uncertain whether they will go out to sea later in the season. Iceland, along with Norway and Japan, has faced criticism for continuing whale hunting despite international opposition. The dwindling market for whale meat, combined with the rise of tourism and whale-watching activities, has led to a decline in catches in recent years. Environmentalists and animal rights advocates are calling for a permanent ban on whaling, emphasizing the need to protect whales as vital contributors to ocean ecosystems and biodiversity.

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