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Norway’s government ignores science and increases whale kill quotas

A majestic minke breaches

Norway’s government has increased the total number of whales allowed to be killed by hunters this season to 1157 individuals - 157 more than last year.

Norway continues these cruel minke whale hunts by 'objecting' to the global ban on commercial whaling. The whalers carry out this slaughter despite falling demand for whale meat in the country and a decline in the number of boats hunting.

The Norwegian Fisheries Minister Cecilie Myrseth sought to justify the decision in a bizarre statement in which she said that ‘whale eats significant amounts of fish which are food for other species, including humans’, and that ‘Norwegian whaling contributes to balance in the marine ecosystems’.

In reality, whaling is cruel, with many whales taking a long time to die after being shot with grenade harpoons. Whales also play a scientifically proven and vital role in keeping the ocean healthy, which helps with the fight against climate breakdown. The misinformation around whales being detrimental to fish populations is also contrary to scientific research. The opposite is true. Increased whale numbers result in increased ecosystem productivity, which supports larger overall fish populations.

The government in Norway has had to prop up the whaling industry there because fewer people eat the meat. We part funded a survey into domestic consumption that revealed only 4% of Norwegians regularly eat whale meat, whilst two-thirds either didn’t eat it at all or only did so ‘a long time ago’.

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