Norway Increases Minke Whale Quotas

The Ministry of Fisheries increases the minke whale quota for 2018 by nearly 300 animals. – Sustainable, says the Fisheries Minister. (Photo: Bjørn Tore Forberg, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research)
The annual quota for the Norwegian mink whale hunt is increased by nearly 300 animals, from 999 in 2017 up to 1,278 this year.

The annual quota for the mink whale hunt is increased by nearly 300 animals, from 999 in 2017 up to 1,278 this year.

The Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fish writes this in a press statement.

The minke whale population in Norwegian fjords counts more than 100,000 animals. The 2018 quota for the minke whale hunt is set at 1,278 animals and involves an increase from last year’s quota of 999 animals. Only 11 vessels participated in the minke whale hunt in 2017.

Sustainable quota

The quota is set based on calculation models worked out by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. That allows for safe and sound sustainable hunting of minke whale, the Ministry writes.

Last year’s outtake counted only 432 animals, the lowest in many years.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Per Sandberg, says Norway has a viable whale hunting industry, despite no subsidies and Japan being the only market outside Norway.

Viable industry

- That is impressive. I want to facilitate the whaling industry’s continued viability. Whale meat tastes deliciously and it is good for one’s health, the Fisheries Minister says.

- It is obvious that the whale hunting industry should be viable. We will continue having a well-founded and reasonable harvesting of Norwegian minke whale, a harvesting that secures both nutrition, the whale stock and the ecosystem, Sandberg says.

Merging areas

The sub-areas for Svalbard, the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea are merged into one catching area. The merger is in accordance with scientific advice and shall make arrangements easier and more flexible for the whale hunters.

A regulation arrangement for the hunt is to be worked out in cooperation with the industry.

- I hope the quota numbers and the merging of catch areas will provide a beneficial starting point for a good whale-hunting season for the industry, says Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg.

The total number of whales hunted for the past few years have been 660 in 2015, 591 in 2016 and 432 in 2017. Number of vessels involved in the hunt was 20 in 2015, 17 in 2016 and 11 in 2017.

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