Last updated: 29 june, 2010 - 08:46 GMT

Iceland's whaling king

Whalers cut open a 35-tonne Fin whale caught off the coast of Iceland


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Iceland's yearly 100 day whaling season is currently underway.

Business man Kristjan Loftsson has four ships that are hunting fin whales – the second largest mammals on earth.

As Iceland's so-called 'millionaire whaling king' he owns a company which has profited from his country's controversial decision not to respect the international moratorium on commercial whaling.

Iceland and Norway continue to be the only two countries in the world that officially authorise commercial whaling, although Japan issues scientific permits to its whalers.

Last week the annual international talks on whaling – the International Whaling Commission – collapsed without agreement.

Kristjan Loftsson, who was part of Iceland's delegation, commented at the conference that the talks were a "waste of time and money."

Now back in Reykjavik, he speaks to Matthew Bannister about his first summer as a mess boy on one of his father's whaling ships at the age of 13.

First broadcast on 28 June, 2010

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