April 1st was the first day of Norway’s whaling season. So far 15 minke whales ranging 6-8 meters have been harpooned by 3 vessels. It is expected that there will be more vessels joining in on the hunt throughout the rest of the season.
The minkes along the Norwegian coast feed on a type of crustacean called copepods, which there apparently is currently an abundance of.
Ninety percent of the minke whales hunted and killed each year in Norwegian waters are female and “almost all” of them are pregnant, according to a documentary aired earlier this month on NRK, a government-owned public broadcasting company.
The release of the documentary has sparked intense outcry from conservation groups in light of Norway’s long-standing objection to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) 1986 ban on commercial whaling.
Norway is the world’s top whaling nation, and has a quota to kill 999 minke whales during the 2017 hunting season, up from its quota of 880 whales in 2016.
“We have a professional approach and therefore we don’t think about it,”Dag Myklebust, Harpooner of Norwegian whaling ship Kato
“Lots of slaughtered animals are sent to the slaughterhouse when they are pregnant,” said Egil Ole Oen, a veterinarian who specializes in whale hunting.
Norway and Iceland are the only countries that continue to hunt whales despite the IWC’s moratorium. Japan also conducts whaling for “research” reasons.
TAKE ACTION for minke whales: keikoconservation.com/helpminkewhales
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