Norway, a country famous for its history and heritage, is being stained by a highly controversial whaling practice they are not willing to give up easily.
Although public outcry is growing against the practice, Norway’s Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg has announced they will allow whalers to kill even more whales this year. Sandberg’s reasoning being that “whale meat tastes good and it is good for health”.
The yearly whaling quota is being increased to 1,278 common minke whales, up from 999 whales in 2017 and 880 whales in 2016.
The minke whale is common in the North Atlantic, making them a common target for Norse whalers. The whaling industry began in the 17th century and brought multiple species to the point of extinction. Fortunately, the International Whaling Commission stepped in to end commercial in 1986.
Norway, Iceland, and Japan are the only countries in the word to ignore the International Whaling Commission’s ruling as they continue to hunt whales. Japan, famous for their practices, claim the whaling is for “scientific research”.
“Norway has a viable whaling industry, despite zero subsidies, and that Japan is the only market outside Norway,” Sandberg said in a statement. “That is impressive. I want to make sure that the whaling remains alive.”
Animal rights activists say a lack of consumer interest is the reason for the decline in whales killed in previous years prior to 2018 increased quota
“Greenpeace believes Norway 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opposition to whaling, as well as the lack of local market for the products, and close down this unnecessary and outdated industry,” Truls Gulowsen, the head of Greenpeace Norway, said.
Gulowsen continued to say,“Norwegian whaling belongs to the past, is only maintained for narrow political reasons and should be phased out as quickly as possible.”
The majority of Norwegian citizens do not support the practices. The demand for whale meat has declined significant in recent history and often the meat goes uneaten. So few people in Norway want to eat whale meat that the whale meat is being fed to feed minks and other animals that are being farmed for their fur.
A report released in 2016 found that 125 tons of minke whale meat was delivered to Rogaland Pelsdyrfôrlaget, the largest manufacturer of animal feed for Norway’s fur industry, in 2014.