The EU Parliament argues that the EU should end transportation of whale meat through the Union’s ports, and refers to more than 13,000 whales being killed in Norway every year, despite an international ban on whaling.
- This has no direct consequences for Norway. Other countries, including the EU, opposing Norwegian whaling operations is nothing new, says Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg to High North News.
In a press statement from the EU Parliament, it is argued that Norway should halt all whaling operations. According to Acting Director of the North Norway Brussels Office Torjus Kleiven Kandal, this is a so-called non-binding resolution that encourages Norway, among others, to bring an end to all forms of commercial whaling and asks the EU Commission to prevent Norwegian whale meat exports to pass through EU ports.
- We have worked on this case. While Norway considers the hunting of minke whales a sustainable form of harvesting natural resources, many EU Parliament politicians consider this an animal welfare issue, Kandal says.
Kandal does not think the initiative will directly affect Norwegian whaling.
- However, it may hurt our reputation, he says.
As for whale meat transit through EU ports, Kandal argues that this should be seen in the context of international trade regulations.
- Norwegian whaling is completely legal, and thus it will be hard to prevent it from traveling through places also in the EU, he says.
Whaling is right
According to Norwegian news outlet NTB, Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg is disappointed that there is once again an attempt to establish myths about Norwegian whaling not being legal or sustainable.
- Norway argues that it is right to hunt minke whales, the stock of which flourishes and that we harvest within sustainable regulations, Sandberg says.
He argues that the moratorium decision from 1982 in which all whaling was banned, was not based on science, although that is a requirement of the International Whaling Commission. Norway objected to the ban and reserved its right not to be obliged by it.
- Each country must decide for itself how it wants to exploit its natural resources. The criticism we now receive is not based on accurate information about the size of the stock size, Sandberg says.
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