Greenpeace Protests Whale Hunting Renewal in Norway

Vancouver Sun wrote that environmental activists from Greenpeace accused the Norwegian government of having ceded to pressure from the whaling industry.

Norway registered an objection to the International Whaling Commission moratorium and is thus not bound by it. Commercial whaling ceased for a five year period to allow a small scientific catch for gauging the stock's sustainability and resumed 1993. Minke whales are the only legally hunted species. Catches have fluctuated between 487 animals in 2000 to 592 in 2007. For the year 2011 the quota is set at 1286 Minke whales

What do Norwegians Think about Whaling?

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Whaling in Norway

Only Minke whaling is permitted, from a population of 107,000 animals in the North East Atlantic and is argued by proponents and government officials to be sustainable. Still, it has been frequently criticized by the international community, environmentalists and animal rights groups as Norway, along with Iceland and Japan, is one of few countries that still allows whaling.

Norway registered an objection to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) commercial whaling moratorium, and is thus not bound by it. In 1993, Norway resumed a commercial catch, following a period of five years where a small catch was made under scientific permit. Norwegian Minke whale catches have fluctuated between 218 animals in 1995 and 646 in 2003.

During the decade immediately prior to the moratorium, Norway caught around 2,000 Minke whales per year. The North Atlantic hunt is divided into five areas and usually lasts from early May to late August. Norway has exported a limited amount of whale meat to the Faroes and Iceland. It has been attempting to export to Japan for several years and this was realized in 2009.

Stortinget Increases the Quotas

In May 2004, the Norwegian Parliament passed a resolution to considerably increase the number of Minkes hunted each year. The Ministry of Fisheries also initiated a satellite tracking programme of various whale species to monitor migration patterns and diving behaviour. The tagging research program has been under way since 1999.

Since 2006, when the Norwegian whaling quota was increased by 30%, Norwegian whalers have been allowed to hunt a quota of 1,052 Minke whales a year. Since the 1993 hunt resumption the Norwegian quota has rarely been fully met.

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