Despite rising calls to halt the hunt, Norwegian whalers killed at least 570 minke whales in 2021. This is in spite of a global prohibition on commercial whaling, Norway has approved an annual kill quota of 1,278 minke whales for the 2021 whaling season.

Baby Minke Whale
(Photo : Getty Images)

International Mandate

Although the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, Norway publicly opposed it, and commercial whaling resumed 11 years later. More than 14,000 minke whales have been slaughtered in the nation since then.

Highest Death Rate in Recent Years

The number of minke whales killed by Norwegian whalers has risen to its highest level in five years, drawing condemnation from environmentalists.

According to the conservation organization Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Norwegian whalers killed at least 570 minke whales during the 2021 season.

Last year, 503 minke whales were slaughtered.

"Killing hundreds of minke whales is completely unacceptable, especially considering the critical role they play in our seas," Vanessa Williams-Grey, the charity's policy manager, said.

"In the fight against climate change, whales are our allies."

"It's awful that it comes only days after the world's largest dolphin massacre off the Faroe Islands, and in the middle of climate and species extinction problems, as well as a worldwide pandemic," she said.

Related Article: Culture or Cruelty? People Are Outraged After 1500 Dolphins Were Massacred in Faroe Island

Whales on Marine Diversity

Whales contribute to maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem via the way they feed, excrete, migrate, and dive.

Despite the declining public interest and widespread international condemnation, Norwegian whalers have continued to murder whales for economic purposes.

Death Report  

According to a recent survey done by Respons Analyse in September, eating whale flesh has been losing popularity in recent years, commissioned by the Animal Welfare Institute, WDC, and Noah (Norway's biggest animal protection organization).

Only 2% of the more than 1,000 people polled indicated they eat whale meat regularly, down from 4% in 2019. Those under the age of 35 are especially unlikely to consume it frequently.

The water should be closed to whaling and opened to tourists, according to more than half of the responders.

According to studies, one out of every five harpooned whales does not die immediately and is left to expire slowly. Nevertheless, it is deemed objectionable by 65 percent of Norwegians.

Furthermore, female whales account for two-thirds of all hunted whales, with nearly half of them pregnant.

"As Iceland and Greenland have previously recognized by constructing whale sanctuaries in places that host responsible whale-watching and other ecotourism activities, live whales can play an essential part in Norway's tourism economy," said Susan Millward, head of AWI's marine animal program.

Loud Opposition

Young Minke Whale Gets Lost In Brooklyn Canal
(Photo : Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Millward continued, "We encourage the incoming Norwegian government to listen to its citizens and establish comparable whaling-free zones, particularly in major tourism destinations like Svalbard and Finnmark."

Whale meat is exported from Norway to Japan, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

Also Read: Dead Dolphins, Turtles Are Washing Ashore in Sri Lanka: Could the Cargo Ship Fire be Blamed?

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