Norway Now Kills More Whales Than Japan And Iceland Combined

While diplomatic pressure has been brought to bear on Iceland and international legal action has been taken against Japan for their whaling programs, the report underscores that Norway has largely been spared international attention and criticism.
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    Whaling in the Faroe Islands

    Whaling in the Faroe Islands near Norway. (Image: Wikimedia CC)

    Washington, DCNorway is now the world’s leading whaling nation, killing more whales in the past two years than Japan and Iceland combined. A new report released today calls on the international community to respond to Norway’s systematic efforts to weaken management rules and improve market conditions for its whalers.

    Frozen in Time: How Modern Norway Clings to Its Whaling Past, produced by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), OceanCare and Pro-Wildlife, details Norway’s undermining of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) ban on commercial whaling and exposes the growth of its overseas trade in whale products. These shipments – some of which have transited European ports en route to Japan – play a key role in sustaining the Norwegian whaling industry.

    “As one of the world’s most modern and prosperous countries, Norway’s whaling is an anachronism,” said Dr. Sandra Altherr, biologist with ProWildlife.  “Slaughtering whales to eat and trade has no place in Norway and serves only to diminish the country’s international reputation.”

    The Norwegian government is funding a number of projects, both to promote domestic sales of whale products and to develop alternative commercial products derived from whales, including dietary supplements, medicines, and cosmetics. In 2015, the Myklebust Hvalprodukter company announced the launch of a series of new products derived from whale oil, including skin cream.

    “We were stunned that a Norwegian whaling company is actively selling health and beauty products manufactured from whale oil,” said Susan Millward, AWI executive director.  “This is not the 1800s. It is incomprehensible that such a modern nation produces skin creams sourced from an inherently cruel industry.”

    While diplomatic pressure has been brought to bear on Iceland and international legal action has been taken against Japan for their whaling programs, the report underscores that Norway has largely been spared international attention and criticism.

    “The IWC has not formally commented on Norway’s whaling since 2001 and the international community has not presented a demarche to Norway since 2006,” stated Sigrid Lüber, OceanCare president. “For as long as this remains the case, Norway will continue to let Iceland and Japan take the heat for whaling and maintain its business as usual.”

    The report details the Norwegian whaling industry’s efforts to open Japan’s markets to its whale products, and address quality concerns, as a number of Norwegian whale shipments have been rejected by Japan due to contamination. Inspectors from Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha (the company operating the Japanese whaling fleet) have overseen the processing of whale meat on board a number of Norwegian whaling trips as a result.

    Frozen in Time concludes with recommended actions that should be taken by the IWC and its member governments to compel Norway to cease commercial whaling and trade in whale products.

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    • Tom Eirik Flovik

      I would like to hear a thorough explanaition why eating whale meat is worse than eating other kind of meat from cow, sheep, pork, chicken, etc… ?

      • Piotr Sudyka

        Cows, sheep, pork and chicken are specifically raised for food and are abundant. Whales are wild animals that breed and gestate very slowly by comparison and most species are, thanks to whaling, endangered and threatened to extinction, though as I understand, the Minke Whale is not endangered and quite abundant. Still, I don’t want whales to disappear off the face of the earth in the near future because some stupid humans cannot eat something else that is not threatened with extinction instead, though I personally believe whaling can be permitted if there is overpopulation of whales in a particular region and are thus, a threat to the overall marine environment, but I have doubts that this is the case anywhere in the world with all the numbers killed off in the last two centuries.

    • Morten E

      First of all: Its incredible foolish and wrongful to use the picture of dead orcas to nourish rage and ill feelings, which is clearly the aim of this article. No orcas are killed in Norway. The picture depicts activity in a another country than Norway. The analogy to this would be to claim that the author of this article is a murderer. Because most likely he lives in a town which there is a murderer. Running loose or jailed.

      Why are there no arguments in this debate, that are founded on reason and knowlegde? Arguments seem to be based only on feelings, which is mostly irrational. And therefore in no context with other conditions around the world.
      Foremost is the (in my opinion) totally unnecessary bullfight in Spain, where bulls are literally tortured to death. Other places there are bull runs, rodeos etc, PURELY FOR ENTERTAINMENT. How can such be condoned? Why are these allowed?

      Why is it so wrong to use whales for food? While many other species are totally accepted as food sources. See i.e. No valid arguments have been presented.
      There are serveral species used as raw materials for health products like fish oil. Why is there no debate about this – using fish to create heath products?

      • Mark Choi

        Nonsense. Your entire post is one long list of login call fallacies, starting with your continued use of straw man arguments. Just because you don’t know about such debates and activism around them did not mean they don’t occur,nye ignorance of them notwithstanding.

    • GH

      I am wholly sympathetic to the article and against all whaling. However I find it poor journalism to illustrate the article with a picture of whales from the Faroe Islands. The Faroes are an autonomous region of Denmark and have their own whale slaughter. This is nothing to do with the Norwegian slaughter of whales. Norwegian whaling is purely a way of subsidising a few whaling boats and related industry. It has nothing to do with ecology.

    • Renate Natalie Norin

      I’m Norwegian and I’m disguised by this. I deeply hate it!!!!

      • Stian van der Krug ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Spekkhoggere eller Orca på bildet er ikke noe bilde fra Norge..
        Fakta, det jaktes kun på Vågehval i Norge bestand ca 100 000 dyr, kvote i 2016 for fangst 880 hvaler. All jakt på annen hval er forbudt.

        Artikkelen er veldig misleading.

    • Ghassan Awada

      what a disappointment to see a civilized nation like Norway steep to that level.norway have lost my respect as a nation of civility.

      • Renate Natalie Norin

        Mine too. I’m disguisted by this and I’m Norwegian. We are many that fight for this to end.

      • Ingar

        I`m also Norwegian and i am ashamed that our country still do this old and barbarous act!!

        • Ghassan Awada

          I am just surprised that the Norwegians who happened to be champions of human rights issues can let this happen.I have plenty of respect for Norway,but it was shocking to see them committing such a masecar against the dolphins and the whales.

          • Luke Murray

            I wouldn’t call a yearly quota of 800 whales out of 100000 a massacre and relating human rights issues to this makes no sense.

    • Sara Plander

      i think whale tastes lovely! Don’t really see the problem here.

      • Moinul Alam

        maybe someone should slaughter your family and see how they taste? would that have you understand the problem? or still no?

        • socrateos

          Don’t worry. We, the rest of people, know how to distinguish human and non-human – unlike people of your kind.

          • Moinul Alam

            what? LOL.. you seem confused… and all it has done is confuse me. why comment?

      • Mark Choi

        That’s because you’re an idiot.
        And a liar.
        And a juvenile Internet troll.

        • Sara Plander

          i might be an idiot, but im not either lying, a juvenile or a internet troll.
          Im from the western coast of Norway. Here we got plenty of whales.. to many actually! There’s so many whales here that its ruining the eco system.
          Thats why we need to kill them, and eat them. This way we can stabilize the eco system so that all the small fishes don’t get eaten by the whales. If you think about it, by killing 1 whale we are saving thousands of other fishies! Isnt it beautiful?

          • Mark Choi

            There’s no debate. You definitely are an idiot. Humans are not needed to “stabilize the ecosystem”. Ecosystems, by definition, work without human intervention. And they worked just fine for billions of years without our input.
            Leaving aside the ridiculous claim that there are too many whales on the western coast of Norway, the “ecosystem” simply doesn’t work that way. Whales are migratory mammals, and their numbers in any given location are not only transitory, they are only important in the aggregate. If an animal is endangered, like all species of whale off Norway’s coast, the fact there is a local population spike is totally irrelevant.
            The only animal ruining the ecosystem in Norway is humans.

            • Stian van der Krug ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

              Norway are not killing orcas, as pictured. Norway can take 886 Vågehval out of a population of 100 000 on 2016.

              • Mark Choi

                Which has literally nothing to do with anything I wrote.

    • Muzzy

      Weird choice of photo? They aren’t whales, they’re Atlantic white sided Dolphins, and the Faroes are in the kingdom of Denmark, not Norway. Still, the point of the article stands.

    • Debra Lessard

      I am sick of whales being treated as fodder for men. You are the ugliest kind of humans. We need our whales you morons. They are the doctors and dolphins the nurses. The Otter grows the kelp forests and his job is to keep them free of pests. That is just one little slice of life. Leave the KRILL ALONE. Leave the whales alone Norway. I dispise everything you stand for. Barbarians to this day. Y Morons.ou are so stupid. You are ruining your own ecosystem

      • Renate Natalie Norin

        I’m Norwegian and I’m disguisted by this also!!!! We are many in Norway that fight for all whaling etc to end. It’s horrible and I deeply hate it!!!

    • Dikkie Rik

      Time the world start hunting whalers. Kill them on sight. All of them. The only whaling allowed should be with a manual harpoon. Same as fishing and other killing. The only killing with guns should be the cull of hunters.

      • Stian van der Krug ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        And everyone that eat meat?

    • socrateos

      This is going to be largely ignored. See how quiet the world is! Where are Aussies? Where are Sea Shepherds? This really proves that the anti-whaling activism is nothing but a disguised Japan bashing.

      • Southernfink

        Anti whaling is still anti whaling no matter the nationality of those involved.

        • Ad Rock

          I agree with socrateos. The international community needs to put up or shut up.

      • Mark Choi

        Yeah, because this article and all the others never got published. And no one ever discusses Iceland.
        You’re an idiot.

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Thanks for bringing this up. I didn’t know about this.