Norway’s controversial whaling season has already resulted in the shooting of 37 whales since this year’s hunt began on April 1. Fully 31 of the whales were shot just last week, reports the organization behind the hunt, Norges Råfisklag.
The annual hunt continues to spark controversy, to the degree that government officials recently opted against marketing Norwegian whale meat abroad. They didn’t think any economic gain would be enough to offset complaints that could tarnish Norway’s image.
The annual whale hunt has also declined over the years, not least since whale meat is no longer a staple in the Norwegian diet and generally only sold in the northern portions of the country. It has, however, emerged as a luxury item at high-end sushi restaurants both in Norway and abroad. Last year 580 whales were killed despite a quota of 917. This year’s quota has been raised to 1,000 whales but it’s also unlikely to be met.