Norwegian whaling season begins as appetite for whale meat fades

Apr 1, 2011

Norway’s 2011 whaling season – which will permit the killing of up to 1,286 whales between April and August – kicked off on Apr. 1, despite growing public opinion against the cruelty of whaling.

WSPA has been working closely with Norwegian animal protection groups NOAH-for dyrs rettigheter and Dyrebekyttelsen Norge, urging the Norwegian government to reconsider its whaling policy. Last year, 100,000 people from all over the world signed a letter to the Norwegian Prime Minister calling for an end to Norwegian whaling. Approximately 5,000 Norwegians have also expressed their concern to their government over the inherent cruelty involved in the hunts.

Watch a video showcasing the Norwegian public’s attitude toward whaling and whale meat:

A cruel and unnecessary industry

Norwegian hunts kill whales using exploding harpoons which – according to the government’s own figures – fail to kill approximately 20% of whales instantly, causing them to suffer slow and painful deaths.

In the coming days, animal welfare groups campaigning against Norwegian whaling are set to release a new study that demonstrates that, in addition to the growing concern over the way in which these animals are killed, the products from whale hunts no longer have viable markets. 

Joanna Toole, Campaigns Coordinator - Oceans at WSPA, said: “As the Norwegian whaling season has now started, we need to remember that there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea. Whaling is a thing of the past, and it’s time for the Norwegian Government to realize that.”

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