New whaling season underway

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Norway’s annual whaling season began this week with 20 boats registered to take part. The whale hunters have a quota of 1,286 whales they can harpoon this year.

The quota is around the same as last year’s, when only 533 whales were actually hunted down and shot, reported local newspaper Lofotposten. A total of 21 boats took part in last year’s hunt.

Actual activity during the first few days of the hunt was modest, with only around four of the registered boats sailing out towards Bjørnøya. One of the boats shot three whales, according to Per Rolandsen of the fish wholesales Norges Råfisklag in Svolvær.

Demand for whale meat has declined dramatically in the last 10-20 years, since the days when whale was common on Norwegian dinner tables. Nor is there much demand for the whale oil or blubber earlier used for fuel and in various other products, but Norway continues the hunt to appease northern fishermen and maintain the industry. The hunt, still controversial among environmental groups, normally runs through August.

Views and News staff