Little logic to Norway's increased whaling quota


Shortly after it was roundly condemned for being the first nation to approve deep-sea mining, Norway has further tarnished its self-proclaimed status as an “ocean leader” by increasing its whaling quota. The 2024 quota will increase by nearly 16%, - from 1000 to 1157.

There’s little logic to this decision, given that domestic appetite for whale meat continues to fall, and Norway’s whaling fleet (currently just a handful of 9 boats) continues to shrink. Its catch last year was barely 50% of the 2023 quota, and was a decrease on 2022.

The Norwegian Fisheries Minister, Cecile Myrseth, appointed in October 2023 said in an official press release from the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries that whale meat was a “healthy” seafood. In a statement rather short on science she concluded that “The whale eats significant amounts of fish that are food for other species, including humans. Norwegian whaling contributes to balance in the marine ecosystems.”

Research shows that whales actually make a positive contribution to the health of the ocean and as ecosystem engineers will increase fish stocks in the areas that they live.

Read the full press release here.

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