In early April Norway’s whaling fleet is setting sails again, starting the largest baleen whale hunt worldwide. Norway continues to ignore the moratorium on commercial whaling. In 2014, more than 113 metric tons of whale meat (equivalent to meat from 75 minke whales) was fed to minks and foxes on Norwegian fur farms. Read more in the press release issued by OcenCare and Pro Wildlife.
Start of whaling season in Norway: Whale meat ends up as feed in fur farms
31 March 2016: In early April Norway’s whaling fleet is setting sails again, starting the largest baleen whale hunt worldwide. The Government is arbitrarily granting itself a quota of 880 minke whales per year, thereby continuing to ignore the moratorium on commercial whaling. Particularly hot: in 2014, more than 113 metric tons of whale meat (equivalent to the amount of marketable meat from 75 minke whales) was fed to minks and foxes bred on Norwegian fur farms. This is shown by documents available to OceanCare and its German partner organisation Pro Wildlife. The NGOs condemn Norway’s whaling and the misuse of the flesh of endangered minke whales.
Over the past years Norwegian whale meat consumption continuously declined. “Obviously the demand for whale meat is so low that it is even used as feed”, says Sandra Altherr, Pro Wildlife. “Having marine mammals end up as feed on fur farms, is cruel on two counts and totally unnecessary.” In 2014, Norway produced 165’000 fox skins and 850’000 mink skins. Part of this is exported to the EU: 71’000 kg of fox fur and 180’000 kg of mink fur in the last two years alone, according to Eurostat.
Quota lowered – but Norway kills more whales than Japan
The new quota of 880 whales is considerably lower than in the recent past, when whalers were allowed to take up to 1286 minke whales per year. “Norway’s quotas do not have approval by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Over the past 15 years, between 464 and 736 minke whales were killed per year”, says Sigrid Lüber, president of OceanCare. “Currently Norway has more whales’ lives to answer for than heavily criticised Japan.” Over the past ten years, 5617 whales fell victim to Norwegian explosive harpoons, while the corresponding number for Japan amounts to 5436 whales.
As Japan and Norway officially filed an objection against the international trade ban, they even may trade in whale meat without having to fear international consequences. Since 2014, Norway exported 172 tons of whale meat and blubber to Japan.
Ahead of the IWC conference in October, OceanCare (Switzerland), Pro Wildlife (Germany), Environmental Investigation Agency (UK) and Animal Welfare Institute (USA) call on pro-conservation nations to act more strongly against Norway’s whale hunt.