Thank you. However, in an attempt to expand the whaling fleet, the Norwegian government eased the requirements for participation in the hunt for minke whales this year. By Astrid Fuchs | 27th October 2020 Despite the extinction emergency, the climate crisis and the pandemic, Norway’s government and its whaling industry are encouraging more whale hunting and promoting the consumption of whale meat. Whaling in Norway Over the last decade we have seen the number of boats partaking in the slaughter dwindle to 21 licensed vessels this year. Last year 200 metric tonnes of whale meat was exported to Japan, worth about 13m kroner (£1.1m), A spokesperson from Japan’s Fisheries Agency said: “Although Japan resumed commercial whaling in July 2019, it seems that the interest in whale meat imported from Norway has not decreased. “This is irresponsible from a conservation perspective, as such a preponderance of females can impact genetic diversity and slow population growth. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an international body set up by the terms of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), which was signed in Washington, D.C., United States, on 2 December 1946 to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry". Iceland already harvested the lowest number of whales among the whaling holdouts, which include Japan and Norway. A Norwegian sculptor, Knut Steen, created this award-winning masterpiece. Thu 3 Sep 2020 06.11 EDT. 503 minke whales have been killed by whales in Norway in 2020. At that time, Greenlanders caught an average of 225 minke whales per year. Norway's 2020 whaling season deadliest in years According to statistics released by the Fishermen’s Sales Organisation (Råfisklaget), 481 minke whales have been killed so far during the 2020 Norwegian whaling season. Last year, demand for whale meat was so low that just one-third of Norway’s whale quota was caught. “Nearly 70 percent of the whales being targeted by Norwegian whalers are females, many of whom are pregnant,” said Kate O’Connell, marine animal consultant at the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). “The amendments are part of a general effort to have timely and effective regulations in the Norwegian fisheries regulations. Norway’s whaling season begins in April. Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, CEO of whaling company IP Útgerð, says he will focus on sea cucumber instead, and import minke whale meat from Norway to meet … Every year, Norway announces a self-imposed quota, which for 2020 will be nearly 1,300 minke whales. Conservationists say relaxing of regulations poses threat to welfare of minke whales, Last modified on Mon 7 Sep 2020 09.04 BST. Some are giving up because of the lack in demand for whale meat; others saw their ships sunk in their homeports. What you can do. Reviewed January 7, 2020. However, in an attempt to expand the whaling fleet, the Norwegian government eased the requirements for participation in the hunt for minke whales this year. Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. The 10 Best Songs of 2020. It was the worst year since the 1980s. Animal Welfare Institute, 900 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003. However, Norway formally objected to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium in 1986, meaning it is not formally bound by it. August 24, 2020 Washington, DC — Norwegian whalers slaughtered more whales in 2020 than in each of the last three years, according to statistics released today by the Fishermen’s Sales Organization (Råfisklaget). Hvalfangstmonumentet in Norwegian, The Whaling Monument or Whaler’s Monument in English. These countries establish their own catch limits but must provide information on their catches and associated scientific data to the Commission. In 1968, small type whaling boats from Norway expanded their operation to include waters of East and West Greenland. It is largest whaling museum in Norway, through its collections and exhibitions, tells the story of the Norwegian whaling industry and the history of days gone by. That’s when the industry hit bottom. Margie Fishman, (202) 446-2128, [email protected], © 2020 All rights reserved. O’Connell said: “Rather than seeking to loosen regulations in order to expand the whaling fleet, we believe that Norway should acknowledge that whaling is no longer a necessary industry, and refrain from issuing quotas in defiance of the IWC commercial whaling moratorium.”, Seascape: the state of our oceans is supported by. Earlier this year, the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate relaxed a number of whaling regulations to encourage additional vessels to engage in whaling. Ingebrigtsen said “the changes have been made without compromising the strict focus on animal welfare and sustainability in whaling”. With several months remaining in 2020… Commercial whaling was banned worldwide more than 30 years ago. However, activists have urged the remaining whaling countries to halt the practice. Washington, DC— Norwegian whalers slaughtered more whales in 2020 than in each of the last three years, according to statistics released today by the Fishermen’s Sales Organization (Råfisklaget). August 20, 2020. Norway tries to claim that its whaling is ‘sustainable’ and must be carried out because ‘whales eat too many fish’. Kate O’Connell, a marine animal consultant at the Animal Welfare Institute, said the looser regulations raised concerns for the wellbeing of the whales being killed. This bronze sculpture near the harbour of Sandefjord is made in the style of a compass rose, and it rotates slowly on its own axis. Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Norway’s fishing minister, said: “It is very positive that we are witnessing an increase in both catches and demand for products this year. Norway continues its commercial whaling operation despite the International Whaling Commission placing a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982. Instead of loosening regulations and expanding its whaling fleet, Norway must stop issuing quotas in defiance of the IWC moratorium. Demand for whale meat in Norway is rising after years of decline, although activists have warned the loosening of regulations could damage the welfare of the animals. 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Roy Størkersen, the office manager at Hopen Fisk, said he believed the recent rise could be linked to an increased interest in local cuisine and consumers growing tired of industrially produced meat such as beef and pork. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, but Norway resumed hunting in 1994, according to the report. The 2020 Norwegian whaling season is now over, and has proven to be the deadliest in years, with more than 500 whales killed. In 1982, the World Whaling Fee (IWC) positioned an international moratorium on business whaling actions, however Norway officially objected to this ruling. by Elizabeth Claire Alberts on 27 August 2020 New data show that Norway has killed 481 minke whales so far this year, a number that surpasses the toll from the past three years. This year, 12 vessels have been involved in the hunt, which is expected to end early next month. Whales have enough working against them without this disgusting whale hunt. AWI joined with a number of other organizations in contesting the agency’s proposal—to no avail. That's 74 more whales than were killed in 2019. In the 1985-1986 season, a moratorium against commercial whaling came into force, under the International Whaling Commission (IWC), as whale populations plummeted toward collapse after decades of industrial-scale whaling. That’s 52 more than all of last year, and 76 more than the two years before that. There are more than 100,000 minke whales in the wild, and they are not considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Lead Image Source : Image Source: Antero Topp/ Shutterstock.com. Since that time, the country has killed more than 14,000 minke whales. In January 2018, Fisheries Minister, Per Sandberg, wrote an opinion piece denouncing as a ‘vicious myth’ the idea that whales are endangered and claiming that Norway conducts a ‘balanced study’ of whales because sustainability is an important factor. That’s how many minke whales Norway has killed so far this year, according to new data released by the country’s Fishermen’s Sales Organization, or Råfisklaget. In another troubling effort to bolster the industry, whale products have been sold to fur farms to use in animal feed—supporting another cruel industry. Norway remains one of only three countries to publicly allow commercial whaling, along with Japan and Iceland. During the early and mid-1970s, Norwegian catches off West Greenland averaged 175 minke whales per year. In an attempt to keep its flailing whaling industry alive, Norway exports whale meat to the Faroe Islands and Iceland, as well as sending increasing quantities of whale meat and blubber to Japan. Get The Brief. Sign this petition to end whaling in Norway! Norway has taken out an ‘objection’ to the IWC’s global whaling ban and therefore is able to set its own whaling quotas, currently taking hundreds of minke whales each season. 11 years later, the Nordic nation resumed business whaling, and because 1993 has hunted greater than 14,000 minke whales … The quota for 2017 has been set at 999 animals, up from the Norwegian government’s 2016 quota of 880. Whale meat and oil have also been used in dog food. The country resumed its minke whale hunt in 1993. While whale meat is not a significant part of the Norwegian diet, it remains a popular source of meat in some regions. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) imposed a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, yet Norway formally objected and resumed commercial whaling 11 years later. Write to Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norway's minister of foreign affairs, to let her know that you oppose her country's continued killing of minke whales. Whaling in Norway is heavily subsidised by the Norwegian government, giving a financial incentive for the hunts to continue, but leaving the whalers with meat that they can’t sell. Whaling in Norway involves hunting of minke whales for use as animal and human food in Norway and for export to Japan. Commercial Whaling Today Norway and Iceland take whales commercially at present, either under objection to the moratorium decision, or under reservation to it. Whaling has been a part of Norwegian coastal culture for centuries. Four hundred and eighty-one. Animal Welfare Institute, 900 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003. Since resuming whaling in … Needing to offload it, they look to Japan to take it off their hands. Norway is planning on murdering 1,278 minke whales in 2020! Now, alarmingly, despite a decline in the demand for whale meat from its own citizens, Norway … A minke whale killed by way of Norwegian whalers. Norway's quota for 2020 is 1,278, the same number as 2019. Conservationists have long been critical of Norway’s whaling tradition. In 2020, the government proposed to amend the whaling regulations, including to allow people with only one recent year of whaling experience to hunt whales. Whale meat being chopped by butchers in Skrova, Norway. Some still continue the practice in the modern day. Rising interest for Norwegian whale meat has also occurred internationally. Whale hunting has been a part of Norwegian coastal culture for centuries, and commercial operations targeting the minke whale have occurred since the early 20th century. A total of 481 minke whales have been killed so far this year—52 more than last year—and the whaling season is still underway. Rather we consider that import from Norway and Iceland will continue to meet increasing demands at its domestic market in Japan.”. Norway's whaling season usually runs from April 1 through the end of August. This decision followed the ban on commercial whaling in 1986. “Requiring that only one person on board a whaling vessel have whaling experience, and even then only in one of the previous six years, is woefully insufficient to ensure an instantaneous death for whales,” she said. Hopen Fisk, a company based in the northern Lofoten region, has reported increased interest in whale meat and sold out of its yearly stock by July. Last year’s total of 429 whales caught was the lowest in decades. According to … Much of the catch is sent to Japan, where demand is high, but for the first time in years businesses have reported increased interest in eating whale meat domestically. Norway’s controversial whaling industry suddenly has the wind in its sails, with rising demand that’s already resulted in a bigger harvest so far this season than in all of last year. This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 6 September 2020. 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