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. Norway authorises killing of 1,052 whales in 2007

Whalers have said poor weather and high oil prices -- that have squeezed whaler's margins as they sometimes sail long distances in the search for whales -- have resulted in the low catch.
by Staff Writers
Oslo (AFP) Dec 01, 2006
Norway on Friday authorised its whalers to harpoon 1,052 whales in the 2007 season, the same number as the previous year, despite whalers fulfilling only half the 2006 limit. "The quota is the same as in 2006. There is a crucial difference: in 2007 it will be permitted to catch 900 animals along the (Norwegian) coast ..., an increase of 300 animals in theses areas compared to this year," interim Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Minister Dag Terje Andersen said in a statement.

The government hopes the increase in the number of kills permitted in coastal waters will make it easier for whalers to fulfill their hunt quotas.

Just over 500 minke whales were killed this year, even though the government had set an upper limit of 1,052 animals.

This year's quota was the largest since Norway resumed commercial whaling in 1993, despite an International Whaling Commission moratorium on the practice in place since 1986.

Whalers have said poor weather and high oil prices -- that have squeezed whaler's margins as they sometimes sail long distances in the search for whales -- have resulted in the low catch.

No whales were hunted off the island of Jan Mayen, almost 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the Norwegian mainland, even though the government allowed 443 whales to be hunted there. The 2007 limit has been set at 152.

"The government's quota policy creates the necessary conditions for the whaling sector to be profitable," president of the pro-whaling lobby group, the High North Alliance, Rune Froevik said.

Supporters of whaling argue that certain species, such as the minke, exist in sufficient numbers to allow a limited hunt.

Japan allows whaling, officially for scientific research.

Until recently Norway was alone in allowing commercial whaling. But in October was joined by Iceland which authorised a catch of 30 minke whales and nine fin whales through August 2007 for export.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
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Japan Sets Off On Whaling Hunt Despite Protests
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 15, 2006
Japanese ships on Wednesday set off to hunt up to 860 whales in the Antarctic, going ahead with its annual five-month whaling expedition despite the risk of clashes with environmentalists. Six whaling ships left Shimonoseki port in western Yamaguchi prefecture with a plan to kill about 850 Antarctic minke whales and 10 fin whales, the Fisheries Agency said.

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