Norwegian Minke Whaling
The official start to the Norwegian whaling season was April 1st, and it has now been announced that the minimum price offered to whalers for minke whale meat in the 2010 season will be raised by one kroner per kilo over what was offered in 2009.; blubber prices will remain the same The Norwegian Rafisklaget published the new pricing the same week that the IWC was to announce the draft terms of an agreement that could suspend the commercial whaling moratorium.WDCS reported earlier this month that representatives of the Norwegian fishing industry have called on the Fisheries Minister to raise subsidies to the whaling industry there, as they continue to have difficulties selling whale meat. The head of the Nordland County Fishermen’s Association, Steiner Jonassen, said that he fears that the whaling industry “will slowly, but surely die out” if increased sales are not promoted both through marketing and export.Source: Verdens Gang RafisklagetFor more on WDCS concerns about the whaling proposal, and the spin related to it, please click here
Although Norway has issued a whaling quota of 1286 minkes for the 2010 whaling season, the actual take of whales is expected to be far less. Despite a quota of 885 whales for 2009, for example, whalers killed 484 animals, the lowest number of whales taken in a decade. For comparison, thirty years ago (1980), Norway's whale kill was 2,054.
Many believe, including WDCS, that quota increases by the whaling nations in recent years are part of an effort to try and apply pressure on the current round of negotiations underway in the International Whaling Commission. WDCS questions why the IWC governments are contemplating accepting commercial whaling at just the time that market pressures seem to be shutting the industry down.