This year's whaling season in Norway has not been going well for the whalers. The season began two months ago on April 1st. "Only" 98 whales have been caught so far. By this time last year, 163 whales had been caught. Whalers have attributed the decrease in catch to bad weather without mentioning other possible factors. This follows a similar pattern to the last few years. While the Fisheries Minister has increased the quota year after year, the actual catch has gone down with rumors of being unable to find the whales. While we are obviously happy that less whales are being killed, it's also worrisome that it may be due to less in the area. While not specifically targeting them, Norwegian whalers have killed pregnant minke whales for years due their larger size and relatively slower speed. The result of this could impact not just one generation of the population but two.

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Updated: Apr 25, 2019


Image: @lillestikken from 2017

April 1st was the first day of Norway's whaling season. So far 15 minke whales ranging 6-8 meters have been harpooned by 3 vessels. It is expected that there will be more vessels joining in on the hunt throughout the rest of the season.


The minkes along the Norwegian coast feed on a type of crustacean called copepods, which there apparently is currently an abundance of.


TAKE ACTION for minke whales: keikoconservation.com/helpminkewhales

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Updated: Feb 25, 2019


A minke whale being landed at Abashiri Port in August 2018.

An update from Keiko Norway.


Since leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Japan has sent representatives to Norway in the hope of learning more about our country's whaling methods, particularly how Norway sets quotas as well as how whaling is generally managed. Japan intends to set their own quotas and add additional whale species to the list for their return to commercial whaling. Recent marketing attempts to repopularize whale meat throughout Norway haven't yield much success so, unfortunately, Norway has seen this as an excellent opportunity to export more of their unused whale meat to Japan. Norwegian representatives have announced they will be visiting Japan in the near future to discuss a potential trade deal which would involve Japan purchasing some of Norway's whale meat in return for their expertise on these practices.


Norwegian politician Jonny Finstad told Lofotposten, "whaling is a traditional industry that pursues sustainable management. Exporting quality meat to Japan has been a desire from the whaling industry for a long time, and now I believe we have an excellent opportunity to gain market access into a large market. If we gain access to the Japanese market for whale meat, we will then have a market where we can export large quantities to." However, Finstad failed to mention that one of Norway's recent large exports to Japan resulted in them dumping the meat after finding it to have high levels of pesticide contamination and deeming it unfit for sale and consumption.

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