Monday, December 7, 2009

Norway Ups The Ante

While attempts are underway to hammer out a peace deal in the IWC (International Whaling Commission), Norway has raised the bar. It's decision to escalate its whale kill defies logic.
Norwegian whaling harpoonistNext year's quota will be 1286 animals (a 45% increase!), despite them killing only 484 of a permitted 885 whales this year. Crunch the numbers: if Norway filled that new quota, that would be a kill jump of 265%!!
As I blogged in October, Iceland hunts endangered fin whales and already exports 1500 tonnes of whale meat to Japan. But the Norwegians haven't caught their full quota in years, as there's no local demand. However - just like Iceland - their real goal is exporting to Japan, where whale meat prices are several times higher than in Norway...even though such trade is prohibited under CITES (The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species)!
logo for Whale Wars Season One...meanwhile Japan's whaling fleet is en route to the Southern Ocean for the 2009-2010 summer hunt (er...scientific research!), with the target of 850 minke whales and 50 fin whales. Humpbacks will be spared - extending a postponement agreement from 2007. Sea Shepherd's flagship Steve Irwin has sailed from Fremantle to try to shut down the fleet's operations. And check out the stealth boat that Sea Shepherd is also using this season!
PS: 8 Dec.2009 - And here's our country's response...interestingly, not its usual tactic.
PS: 9 Dec.2009 - Watching the watchers...this year, Japan has sent out a spy ship with its whaling fleet, to keep an eye on Sea Shepherd's activities.

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