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Facts about Whales in Norwegian waters

Balance in the food chain

Whales, of which there are approximately 75 species, are a part of the marine ecosystem. They either eat fish, or they compete with fish for their food. Most whales need to eat the equivalent of approximately five per cent of their body weight every day. Overharvesting any species is undesirable, but to achieve an optimum balance in the food chain, the whale species which occur in large enough numbers should be harvested. Today Norway only catches minke whales.

Use of whales

Whale meat has been a part of the daily diet for over 1,000. It tastes delicious and is very healthy. Recent research indicates that the oil in whale meet and blubber contains substances which have a preventive effect on cardiovascular diseases, among others.

This web-brochure shows the most common whale species along the Norwegian coast and in Norwegian waters. In addition to these species the Greeland whale (Balaena mysticetus) and dolphins such as Risso(Grampus griseus), Sowerby whale (Mesoplodon bidens) og Stripled dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) also occur.