Norway’s fisheries minister, Per Sandberg, has raised the quota for the country’s controversial whale hunt to a level that’s three times the size of last year’s total catch. He claims he’s simply trying to keep the hunt alive.
“Norway has a viable whaling business, despite zero subsidy and that Japan is the only market outside Norway,” Sandberg stated in a press release. “That’s impressive.” He said he wants whaling to survive: “Whale meat tastes good and it’s good for your health.”
The annual hunt continues to attract protests and has been carried out in defiance of international restrictions. The EU Parliament advised Norway to halt all commercial whaling as late as last fall.
The lack of demand for whale meat and blubber has trimmed it back considerably, though. Last year’s quota was set at 999 sperm whales, but the commercial catch amounted to just 438. Sandberg has boosted the quota to 1,278, but it seems unlikely that many will be hunted down.
“I hope the quota numbers and mergers of hunting areas will provide a good basis for a good season for the whaling business,” Sandberg said. The season normally runs from April to August.