Norway keeps whaling quota unchanged for 2014

April 1, 2014
Anti-whaling protestors demonstrate outside the Norwegian embassy in central London on November 8, 2013

Norway maintained on Tuesday its quota of previous years to hunt up to 1,286 whales in its waters in 2014, despite whalers repeatedly catching less than the limit.

"This year too, we have decided on a quota which guarantees continuity and a good framework for the whaling sector," Fisheries Minister Elisabeth Aspaker said in a statement.

Norway formally objected to the 1986 commercial whaling moratorium and does not consider itself subject to it.

The Scandinavian kingdom and Iceland are the only countries in the world to hunt whales for commercial purposes.

Both nations argue that the they hunt have a sufficiently large population to not be endangered.

The announcement came the day after the whaling industry suffered a serious setback: the International Court of Justice ordered Japan to end its annual Antarctic whale hunt of , a larger species than the Minke whale Norway catches.

The United Nations' Hague-based court said that the programme was a commercial activity disguised as science and that most of the meat ended up on .

In Norway, where whale meat used to be considered a poor man's dish, whalers struggle to reach the quota: in 2013, only 594 whales were harpooned according to official data.

Animal rights activists say this is a sign of the consumers' lack of interest.

"Year after year, the quotas aren't reached and this new quota is unnecessarily high," Greenpeace Norway head Truls Gulowsen told AFP.

"But that's not a big problem: it's a dying industry, because consumers prefer pizza to whale meat."

Whaling professionals argue they do not reach the due to the processing plants' lack of capacity, high fuel prices and distant hunting areas.

The hunting season goes from April 1 to September 30.

Explore further: Norway whalers take first whales of hunting season: official

Related Stories

Iceland resumes controversial fin whale hunt

June 17, 2013

Iceland has resumed its disputed commercial fin whale hunt, with two vessels en route to catch this season's quota of at least 154 whales, Icelandic media reported on Monday.

Iceland ups 2014 whaling quotas

December 13, 2013

Iceland announced Friday it has increased its 2014 quotas for whaling in a move likely to intensify international condemnation of the practice.

Will world court ruling end Japan's whaling? (Update)

April 1, 2014

Japan's whaling in the Antarctic is at a crossroads after the International Court of Justice ordered the program stopped. The court concluded the supposed scientific research program is actually a guise for commercial whaling. ...

Recommended for you

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing

November 25, 2015

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular ...


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.