Norway to defy ban on whale meat trade

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The Independent Online

Conservationists protested yesterday at Norway's decision to resume the trade in whale products despite a long-standing global whaling moratorium and a ban on the whalemeat trade.

Conservationists protested yesterday at Norway's decision to resume the trade in whale products despite a long-standing global whaling moratorium and a ban on the whalemeat trade.

The Norwegians have decided to export meat and blubber from the hundreds of minke whales they kill annually in defiance of world opinion.

In particular, they wish to dispose of their "blubber mountain" - hundreds of tonnes of blubber stockpiled in warehouses, which is not eaten by the Norwegians, although it is considered a delicacy in Japan.

The decision was condemned by the World Wide Fund for Nature as damaging to Norway's reputation as an environmentally friendly nation and as a move that could provoke the collapse of global whale conservation agreements.

Norway's Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said exports were a logical step after Norway decided in 1993 to resume commercial hunts of minke whales, defying a moratorium by the International Whaling Commission. A separate convention bans global trade in whale products.

Rune Frovik, secretary of the whalers' pressure group, the High North Alliance, said: "This is a victory for common sense and the sustainable management of our marine resources."

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