Norway increases quota for minke whales

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Norway has set this year’s quota for its minke whale hunt at 674. The number represents an increase over last year’s allowable catch of 552 animals — and it’s the highest quota since 1999’s quota of 753.

“The future for sustainable whaling looks bright. We are pleased that the negative trend of lower quotas has been turned,” said Rune Frovik, secretary of the High North Alliance, Norway’s whaling lobby group.

Scientists estimate the total population of minke whales in the areas where harvesting takes place is 118,000 animals. The quota, according to the High North Alliance, accounts for less than 0.6 per cent of the population, and is well within the sustainable limits.

The largest catch was in 1998, when 625 animals were harvested.

The High North Alliance expects this year’s quota could yield the largest catch since the resumption of whaling in 1993.

Last year, Norway lifted its self-imposed export ban on minke whales. Japan and Norway are now planning on resuming their trade in minke whales.

Exporting minke whales will permit the full use of all parts of the hunted animal, including the blubber and fins. Norwegians consume only the meat, and much of the other parts of the whale are generally discarded and simply dumped at sea.

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