The International Whaling Commission (IWC) set a worldwide ban on commercial whaling in 1986.
But Norway objected the ban and continued commercial whale hunting in 1993. Since then Norway sets its own quotas but must provide information on the catches and associated scientific data to the IWC.
This year Norway set an enlarged quota of 999 North Atlantic common minke whales (880 in 2016).
Many NGOs say that Norway’s exports of whale meat have increased sharply in recent years. The Animal Welfare Institute said that 2948 kg of Norwegian whale products were exported to Japan in October 2016, transiting through at least three EU ports: Malta, Le Havre and Hamburg.
The European Parliament is calling on the Commission to step up its efforts against Norway for ignoring the IWC ban.
Catherine Bearder MEP who is Chair of the cross-party MEPs For Wildlife group said:
“From Hamburg to Le Havre, European ports are a major transit point for whale meat before it is sent to Japan.
“MEPs are calling on the Commission to implement an EU-wide ban on the transportation of whale meat through EU ports.
“It is already illegal to hunt whales under international law, the EU must defend the IWC ban.
“We have to stop the mindless and cruel butcher of these magnificent creatures.”