Despite figures decreasing in Norway on the number of whales being slaughtered each year, the government has just increased the quota to allow for more whales to be killed in 2017. After decades of whale killing through a notoriously brutal practice in Norway, the number of people consuming whale meat appears to be consistently decreasing each year.
Recent reports claim that the majority of people in Norway see whaling as an antiquated industry and no longer have the desire to eat whale meat. The head of the Norwegian Whalers Association, Truls Soløy claimed, “people in Norway do not eat whale… there are too few players on the buying side.” However, despite these decreasing consumer figures, the Norwegian government has recently upped its quota to 999 minke whales for slaughter in 2017. This is an increase of 116 whales compared to the quotas from previous years.
Time will tell whether the number of whales that are killed in 2017 will match the quota, as in recent years fewer whales have been killed than the quota has allowed for. In 2016, 590 whales were killed, even though there was an allowance for 880. These figures draw up the crucial question that if the demand for whale meat is decreasing every year and annual quotas are not being fulfilled, why has the Norwegian government increased the quota? Whaling was once a
Whaling was once a big business in Norway before it was outlawed in 1986 by the International Court of Justice. However, in 1993 the nation announced that they would reopen their waters for eager whalers aftloophole-hole was found and sighted as an “objection”. Their hopes of revitalizing the once-successful industry quickly diminished due to the widespread public outcry against what was labeled as a “cruel industry”. Demand for whale meat within Norway has decreased dramatically, together with their once-successful exporting of the whale meat to Japan, where demand has also plummeted. According to recent reports, the Norwegian government currently subsidises around 50 percent of the cost of whale meat, claiming that the culling of the whales helps to preserve other fish populations in the region, despite many people believing that this is an incorrect statement.
In addition, reports also claim that the majority of the whale meat is highly contaminated. Japan dumped a large shipment of the meat from Norway back in 2015, after claims that at least three toxic pesticides were found trapped in the whale blubber. Due to its growing reputation as a tainted meat, the whaling industry has begun to sell the meat as an ingredient for pet food, although this has been a highly unsuccessful attempt to make further use of the whale meat. Owing to these factors, many people claim that there is no valid reason why the annual quotas of culling numbers should be increased, or in fact why they should be there at all. To stop the nature of the whaling industry you can contact the Norwegian embassy in your country or write to the Norwegian Prime Minister, explaining the marine effects of whale culls and how it seems senseless for it to continue if there is no demand there.
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