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We’re inspiring a wave of change in Norway to end the world’s largest whale hunt

Lottie Pearson

Lottie Pearson

Lottie is WDC's stop whaling campaigner. She works to end whaling in Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Right now, Norwegian hunters are at sea with permission to kill up to 1157 whales. Decades of foreign condemnation have not ended these hunts because change must come from within Norway. So we’re mobilising a wave of change, inspiring and supporting Norwegian people to end the hunts and create a Norway For Whales. And you can be part of it.

The global whaling ban is arguably the greatest conservation victory of all time - the power of people calling for change persuaded the governments of the world to put an indefinite pause on commercial whale hunts and, with that decision, the lives of countless thousands of whales were saved. This whaling ‘moratorium’ has been in place since 1986, but the governments of a handful of countries still choose to defy it.

The Norwegian hunt is the deadliest in the world.  © MortenEkker
The Norwegian hunt is the deadliest in the world. © MortenEkker

One of these is my home country, Norway, where whalers kill more than 500 whales every year. The Norwegian whaling ships are out at sea right now and they’re now allowed to slaughter even more whales because the Norwegian government has just increased the hunting quota. It’s frightening!

© ORES-Ursula Tscherter
© ORES-Ursula Tscherter

Will you help create a Norway For Whales?

You might ask why the hunts are allowed to continue, especially in a country like Norway that is not only wealthy, but carries a reputation for being a place of magical beauty and incredible wildlife. Being half Norwegian, and growing up there gives me a valuable perspective as I understand the people, history and culture. The thing is, whaling is is still somewhat financially supported by the state and only a tiny number of people are involved in any way. It just isn’t an everyday concern for most Norwegian people and only 2% eat whale meat regularly.

One in four Norwegians agrees with us that it’s time to end whaling in Norway, and one in four disagrees. That leaves half the population undecided or with no opinion, meaning that half the population can be swayed either way.

We have an opportunity to inspire half the Norwegian population to end the hunts.
We have an opportunity to inspire half the Norwegian population to end the hunts.

It’s time for a fresh approach

The Save the Whale movement of the 1970s and 80s convinced the world that whaling needed to stop and the whale became a totem of conservation. People began to understand that a healthy planet needs a healthy ocean, and a healthy ocean needs more whales, not fewer. The impact of those passionate people can still be felt today. I know that there is already a real shift in public opinion among Norwegian people, away from hunting and towards conservation, so we need to fire up that passion again and drive a wave of change.

Lottie speaking to activists in Norway
Lottie with activists outside parliament in Oslo

Instead of condemning, we're nurturing a global movement of people who will shake things up and create a Norway For Whales.

Decades of foreign protest and condemnation have not succeeded in ending the hunts so it’s time for a fresh approach. Change must come from within Norway, so we are nurturing a network of Norwegian activists who will inspire Norwegian people to end the hunts. We’re supporting the growing network of young people who want to protect whales and the planet to safeguard their future. We are bringing together people from all backgrounds, from activists to politicians and lawyers, establishing networks who will push for an end to whaling and create a Norway For Whales.

We’re creating a wave of change in Norway

I was back in Oslo just last week to meet with Martin Skadal, founder of World Saving Hustle, a Norwegian NGO working on rights and environmental issues. We’ve been working together for a while now, sharing ideas and he, like us, wants the hunts to end and shares our approach.

Martin Skadal, founder of World Saving Hustle

'We need much more awareness that Norway has commercial whaling. I don’t think many people in Norway know that we are still killing whales. We need support from all areas of society from businesses to individuals.’

- Martin Skadal, Founder of World Saving Hustle.

After many virtual meetings, it was great to finally meet Martin in person.
After many virtual meetings, it was great to finally meet Martin in person.

I was thrilled to be invited to participate in Martin’s first-ever World Saving Hustle conference. WDC’s head of hunting and captivity, Luke McMillan and I had the honour of hosting a workshop for the attendees. Together with the participants, we brainstormed a variety of strategies to bring about the change we need and at the end of the workshop, each participant selected one of these ideas to put into action. Just think about that - after just a few hours of bouncing ideas off one another, there are now several individuals in Norway creating plans for campaigns to end whaling – incredible!

WDC workshop at WSH
Lottie presenting at WSH

By working within Norway, I believe we will end the hunts.

This is just the beginning.

We have big plans and high hopes. We will continue to support these individuals with their campaigns, and we’ll help them and others to develop creative ways to increase the appreciation of whales within Norway. We will grow public awareness of the vital role whales play in overcoming the climate and biodiversity crises. Working with Norwegian partners, we will lobby for hunts to be closely monitored and scrutinised so that the harms caused to whales are exposed. We want to show Norwegian people, and the wider world, what is happening at sea.

WSH activist 2
WSH activist
WSH activists 3

It was amazing to meet so many passionate individuals who want to protect whales, the planet and their future.

Our approach also means offering solutions. Whilst we were in Norway, we met with Brim Explorer, a company that operates hybrid-electric whale-watching vessels. We are excited to work with them to bring about a future where responsible whale watching is seen as a more lucrative economic alternative to whaling and to improve the standards of Norwegian whale watching. We hope to expand this work and offer support to a network of responsible whale watch operators throughout Norway.

Lottie on a Brim Explorer whale watching vessel
A majestic minke whale surfaces near our boat

We plan to grow an appreciation of the whales and dolphins who inhabit the waters around Norway.

Will you be part of this wave of change?

You can be part of this powerful new Save the Whale movement for the 21st century, receiving the baton carried by our friends and colleagues in the 1970s and 80s. For one week only, your donation towards our in-country work in Norway will be doubled. Just imagine what we could do with double the funds; we’ll harness the policy-changing power of politicians, lawyers, influencers, and passionate Norwegian people; uniting efforts, increasing knowledge, changing minds, until we end the killing of these beautiful, intelligent, thinking, feeling beings.

Norway for whales banner

I’ve seen first-hand how hearts and minds can change. But this change must come from within Norway. Just as we’re seeing how progress has been made in other whaling nations like Iceland, with your support, I’m confident that our dream will become a reality, and the cruelty of Norwegian whaling will be left in the past. Thank you for all your support. Together we’ll be a wave of change for whales.

Please help us today with a donation

If you are able to help, every gift, whether large or small, will help us stop whaling in Norway.