Norway to hunt 1052 whales in 2008

Norway has announced its whale quota for 2008 and plans to hunt over a thousand minke whales.

Norway’s Fisheries Ministry said that the quota has remained unchanged from last year. Though it includes 97 whales that were not caught during previous whaling seasons.

The majority of the whales will be taken from the coastal areas around the Barents Sea, Svalbard and the North Sea.

Whaling in recent years has been adversely affected by bad weather conditions and rising prices of fuel. In particular, the waters of north-eastern Iceland, around the island of Jan Mayen, have proven difficult for whaling operations.

There are seven kinds of great whales, among which the minke are the smallest. The government of Norway fears that without whaling, the minke whale population’s growth could adversely affect fish stocks in the region.

“The total stock size of central and north Atlantic minke whales is close to 70,000 animals, of which around 43,600 are in Icelandic coastal waters,” said a statement from the government. “The catches are clearly sustainable and therefore consistent with the principle of sustainable development.”

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