09 September 2005

Norwegian whaling update - the killing continues

Following a catalogue of measures designed to reach the overall quota, in a last desperate bid the Norwegian authorities have extended the whaling season by a whole month, with the hope that the total 2005 quota of 796 minke whales will be killed by the end of September.

As the season was heading towards its expected close on the 31st August, officials recognized that, despite starting the season a month early this year, yet again the full quota would not be met.

In an attempt to stimulate more kills in the areas closer to shore, where is it is more economical to catch the whales, Norwegian authorities last month lifted the maximum quota within the country's EEZ and Svalbard zones.

This ongoing manipulation of where and when the quotas can be taken casts significant doubt over the claims by the Norwegian Government of the need to issue ever increasing quotas for these hunts. In fact, contrary to these assertions, in the Jan Mayen area, which is further away for the whalers to travel in search of whales, only five out of a total area quota of 145 whales have been killed so far this season.

"This is the fourth year in a row that the full quota has not been met, which is particularly remarkable when you consider the pressure from within the Norwegian Government to increase this annual quota. This new move to extend the season comes after a series of measures to increase the number of whales killed, which includes starting the season earlier, lifting the maximum quota on whales that can be killed within the EEZ and Svalbard zones and trying to promote new types of whale meat products in an attempt to stimulate sales" said Mark Simmonds, International Director of Science at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

"With the obvious difficulties associated with meeting these ever increasing self-allocated quotas, year after year, it seems more likely that the quota increases are designed to raise pressure within the International Whaling Commission, in order to force the Commission to sanction commercial coastal whaling.

Norway's continued practice of making up the rules as it goes along to suit its needs, is not only outrageous, but also makes an absolute mockery of claims that commercial whaling could ever be well regulated or controlled. Such manipulations do little to enhance the global communities' confidence that the 'bad old days' of whaling are over" continued Mark.

Source: www.wdcs.org


Post a Comment

<< Home