Norway’s minke whaling season opened Saturday with whalers given an increased quota of 999, up from 880 whales last year.
The quota (number of whales they can kill) is self-allocated and set by Norway’s own Fisheries Ministry, which claims that it has set the quota numbers in accordance with scientific advice from the international body that regulates whaling (International Whaling Commission – IWC). However, these inflated kill numbers are higher than would be deemed “sustainable” by the IWC’s own scientific committee.
Despite declining demand for whale meat, Norway is currently the world’s biggest commercial whaling country, hunting minke whales under an ‘objection’ to the global ban on commercial whaling imposed by the IWC. Last year, Norwegian whalers killed 591 minke whales.
Late last week, Japan’s whaling fleet returned home after killing 333 whales.