Norway and the Hunt for Minke Whales Meat and BlubberKeith
Norway and the Hunt for Minke Whales Meat and Blubber has caused issues over the years regarding the banning of whale hunting.
The country of Norway kills Minke Whales under an ‘objection’ to the International Whaling Commissions temporary prohibition of the activity. Despite the trade in whale products declining the Norwegian Government still subsidisesa few fisherman to huntin the summer. Norway has resisted the banning of Minke Whale hunting despite it being uneconomical, cruel and unnecessary.
It was reported that in 2013 only 18 ships would be out on the seas as only 459 Minke Whales were killed in 2012, this being a reduced number.
In the year of 2010 only 36% of the quota was realised, the lowest number for Minke Whales in 10 years.
Before the decision to ban commercial whaling Norway killed in the region of 2000 Minke Whales every year exporting over half of the residual products to Japan. The fisherman who kill the whales do so only in the season allocated and the rest of the year spend the time hunting for normal fish.
In 1982 when the Whaling Commission adopted its moratorium Norway was one of the countries to object to the ban coming into force in 1986 and proceeded to hunt Minke Whales on a scientific basis until 1993 when they announced commercial whaling would begin again.
In 2011 the quota was fixed at 65 Minke Whale kills in the area around Svalbard, with the whalers reaching the quota very quickly, so much so that the goverment lifted all restrictions up to a total of 260 whales.
The Norges Rafisklag arranges the sales of the Minke Whales. The prices for their whale meat varies depending on quality and type and also the company who offer the product.
In 1986 when the IWCs ban came into force Norway agreed to stop the trade in whale products, trade with Japan had already halted. In 2001 Norway resumed trade with Japan of meat and blubber, it was estimated a total of 600 tonnes had accumalted in Norways freezers. The export of blubber was eagerly awaited by the whalers but hit a problem when the amount of toxins had built up in the blubber.
By March of 2001, the Norwegian Food Safety Organization cautioned the need for limited consumption of blubber, and by 2003 recommended that pregnant and nursing women avoid the meat and blubber. These warnings were also reiterated in May of 2009.
It was discovered in 2003 that Norways whale meat contained high levels of Mercury, far more than the Icelandic Scientific quota had.
5 tonnes of whale meat was exported to Japan in 2008 but was not sold to bacterial contamination and lactic acid levels.
In 2009 over 4 tonnes due to be used in the pet food industry was confiscated from a pet food establishments freezers. It was discovered after a licence had been requested to export some to the Faroe Islands for HUMAN CONSUMPTION.