POLL: Should Norway be sanctioned for boosting its whaling quota?

POLL: Should Norway be sanctioned for boosting its whaling quota?

has announced a 28% increase of its annual quota to 1,278 whales in a bid to revive the declining hunt amid international controversy.

Whalers have for several years failed to meet the quotas set by Oslo and the number of whaling boats has plunged.

“I hope the quota and the merging of zones will be a good starting point for a good season for the whaling industry,” fisheries minister Per Sandberg said.

A freshly killed minke whale hoisted on to Norwegian whaler Kato in the North Sea in 1999. The country now wants to boost whaling after years of decline. Photograph: John Cunningham/AFP/Getty Images

and are the only countries in the world to authorise whaling. also hunts whales, but officially does so for scientific research purposes, even though a large share of the whale meat ends up on dinner plates.

does not consider itself bound by a 1986 international moratorium on whaling, to which it formally objected.

The country resumed its minke whale hunt in 1993. According to Oslo, there are more than 100,000 minkes in Norwegian waters.

Yet whaling appears to have fallen out of favour. While there were around 350 whaling vessels in 1950, there were just 11 in 2017, a number almost halved from the previous year.

The number of whales killed has also plunged from 660 in 2015 to 432 last year – when the quota was 999 – the “lowest in many years”, according to Sandberg.

Whaling professionals have argued they fail to reach the annual quotas because of the whale meat processing plants’ lack of capacity and high fuel prices. Whales are now seeking out colder waters, which are increasingly distant because of global warming.

Animal rights activists say a lack of consumer interest is the reason for the decline.

“Greenpeace believes should take the logical consequences of the International Whaling Commission’s ban on commercial whaling, the widespread opposition to whaling, as well as the lack of local market for the products, and close down this unnecessary and outdated industry,” Truls Gulowsen, the head of Greenpeace Norway, said.

“Norwegian whaling belongs to the past, is only maintained for narrow political reasons and should be phased out as quickly as possible.”

This article was first published by The Guardian on 07 Mar 2018.

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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