Norway whalers take first whales of hunting season: official

May 02, 2012
The Norwegian Sea off Norway's Arctic archipelago Lofoten in February 2012. Norwegian whale hunters have harpooned the first three whales of the year, nearly a month after the controversial hunting season began, the country's Fishermen's Sales Organisation said Wednesday.

Norwegian whale hunters have harpooned the first three whales of the year, nearly a month after the controversial hunting season began, the country's Fishermen's Sales Organisation said Wednesday.

"Three whales were taken off Bear Island on Sunday," Per Rolandsen, of the sales organisation's division in Norway's Arctic Lofoten , told AFP.

Norway's whale hunting season started on April 1 and is set to last until August 31, but Rolandsen explained that weather conditions had been poor and the vessels had been tied up until now with other fishing activities.

"The whale hunt is very weather dependent (but) we expect now that the hunting conditions will improve," he said.

and Iceland are, with Japan, the only countries to defy the 1986 international moratorium on , claiming Minke whale stocks are large enough to merit limited hunts.

Japan uses a loophole that allows killing the animals for "lethal research," but a large portion of the meat also makes it to commercial markets.

Norway has set a quota of 1,286 Minke for this year's season -- the same as last year -- even though the country's dwindling whaling fleet is having trouble filling the quota.

Last year, only 19 boats took part in the hunt, taking just 533 animals.

"There is really no problem pulling up the quota," Rolandsen said, stressing that the problem was "to sell the meat."

"We hope that the sale will go better this year and that Norwegians will consume more ," he said, acknowledging though that only 18 of the 20 boats signed up for this year's hunt were expected to participate.

Olav Lekve of Norway's Directorate of Fisheries meanwhile told AFP there were no plans to cut the whaling quota.

"The quota depends on (scientific) recommendations, and it is at a minimum already. The Minke population is quite big," he said.

Explore further: Researchers develop new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Norway fails to fulfill whaling quota

Aug 21, 2006

Norway says its fishermen will not be able to fulfill this year's whaling quota, with about 500 minke whales caught out of the quota's 1,052.

Commission proposes limited commercial whale hunts

Apr 23, 2010

(AP) -- The International Whaling Commission has proposed allowing the animals to be hunted under strict quotas, bringing the world a step closer to the first legal commercial whaling in nearly 25 years.

Recommended for you

Arsenic stubbornly taints many US wells, say new reports

10 hours ago

Naturally occurring arsenic in private wells threatens people in many U.S. states and parts of Canada, according to a package of a dozen scientific papers to be published next week. The studies, focused mainly ...

Who's been affected by Australia's extreme heat? Everyone

19 hours ago

Australia has been hit by two years of heat: 2013 was the hottest ever recorded and 2014 wasn't far behind, taking third place. The country has also sweltered through several significant heatwaves, and, though ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.