After several years of decline in Norway’s annual whale hunting season, the leader of whalers in northern Norway reports an increase of 125 of the huge mammals in this year’s catch. Whalers didn’t come close to fulfilling their quota, but they told state broadcaster NRK that they’re pleased.
“There was very good weather at the start of the season (in April) so a lot of whales were caught early,” Truls Soløy, leader of the whaling group Norges Småkvalfangerlag, told NRK. He also claimed an increase in demand for whale meat: “There’s been good marketing work down, and interest in whale meat has increased.”
A total of 590 whales were shot, less than half the quota of 1,300, but that’s up from 465 whales last year. The quota was set after a model worked out by a committee of the International Whaling Committee (IWC).
Norway’s annual whale hunt remains controversial abroad, and has shrunk considerably from its height in the 1960s.