Norway´s fisheries minister, Per Sandberg has announced that he would like to see more whales killed by Norwegian hunting vessels, and also would like to sell the meat to the EU.
Norway is already the world´s biggest commercial whaling country, yet Sandberg would like to double Norway’s minke whale quota (the number of whales it will kill) to around 2,000. His comments come just a few weeks after the Norwegian Fisheries Ministry announced that will up the number of minke whales it intends to kill during the 2017 hunting season to 999, despite the fact that few people in Norway actually eat the meat. In 2016, Norway’s quota was 880 whales.
Sandberg cites computer modelling as a justification for his massive proposed increase.
Currently, Norway is not allowed to sell whale meat to EU countries and the industry is struggling with both the market and making any profit. Norway’s whalers mainly trade whale blubber and whale meat with Japan under an exemption to the international ban on commercial whaling. According to NRK news, the fisheries minister’s goal is to increase exports both to Japan and to also find an opening into the European market.