Apr 1, 2011
This week marks the beginning of the Norwegian whaling season, and as the fleet prepares to slaughter up to 1,286 whales, a new report by leading environmental consultancy eftec has just been released revealing Norwegian attitudes to whaling and eating whale meat have changed, with many moving away from this cruel industry, leaving it on its knees, propped up by public funds.
Fewer than five percent of Norwegians eat whale meat regularly, with younger generations showing particular disinterest in trying it. Whaling itself is a seasonal activity which as the report reveals, less than one percent of fishermen and fewer than 20 vessels participate in each year.
The Norwegian industry receives substantial financial support at tax payers’ expense. Whaling-related activites such as promotion, marketing and research receive significant government funds, despite evidence that the Norwegian public do not support this use of public funds. As a result, taxpayers’ financial support for whaling is almost as high as the landing value of the meat.
WSPA, together with Norwegian partner groups Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge and NOAH-for dyrs rettigheter, believe that the eftec report, reflecting months of extensive research, provides the Norwegian government with clear evidence to rethink their whaling policy.
Despite the Norwegian public clearly being concerned about the animal welfare impacts of whaling, the report shows the Norwegian Government has replaced whaling inspectors with a less costly, automated data collection system, leading to insufficient oversight of killing methods.
Joanna Toole, Oceans Campaigns Coordinator at WSPA, said: “Not only is Norwegian whaling inherently cruel, as this report shows, it is neither wanted nor needed. With this economic argument bolstering our argument against whaling on welfare grounds, it is about time that the Norwegian Government take notice of these clear facts and reconsider their whaling policy.”
Yesterday, WSPA’s partners handed a copy of the report to the leader of the Trade and Industry Committee in the Norwegian parliament urging him to make whaling a thing of the past.
To read Seas of Change, a summary of the key findings of the eftec report click here
To read the original eftec report, click here