Japan Seeks Whaling Tips From Norway After Leaving The IWC

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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