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.
Conservationists say a declining appetite for whale meat is the reason for the decline but the government blames higher fuel prices and bad weather conditions, The Guardian reported Monday.
Norway is the only nation in the world to allow commercial whaling.
The Scandinavian nation resumed commercial whaling in 1993, despite a 1986 international moratorium designed to protect the species from extinction, the newspaper said. Japan and Iceland hunt whales but say they only do so for scientific research.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Underwater elephants