Norwegian whales have a date with death
Independent Online - Science & Technology Report
SAPA & AFP
25th February 2004
The Norwegian government continued to defy an international ban on commercial whaling as it announced Wednesday the dates for the beginning and end of this year's whale hunting season.
The hunting of whales, outside of the North Sea, will be permitted from May 10 to August 31, the Norwegian fisheries ministry said.
"If the weather permits, we can look forward to the new arrival of these delights of the sea," Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Svein Ludvigsen said in a statement.
The quota this year has, in line with a government announcement last September, been set at 670 whales.
Last year, whalers were unable to pull in their entire 671 whale quota due to difficult weather conditions. Only 634 whales were killed.
In defiance of an international ban on whaling dating back to 1986, Norway is the only country in the world to authorise commercial whaling. In practice, however, Japan and, since last year, Iceland, allow whaling, but officially they claim the hunting is only "for scientific purposes."