Article | Last updated: 13/10/2021 | Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
As a part of old traditions in Norway, hunting for minke whale is being done in Norwegian waters. After a five year break, whaling started up again in 1993. In Norway, whale hunting has always been done in combination with traditional fisheries.
The Norwegian whaling is sustainable and legal. Norway’s resource management is based on the principle of sustainable use of natural resources. The harvesting of marine resources, including whales, is based on scientific criteria.
Some whale species need protection, while others are abundant. Minke whales are not an endangered species in our areas, and the hunt is a legal, traditional, small scale coastal activity.
Annual quotas are set on the basis of procedures developed by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Norway has worked, and will continue to work, within relevant international fora, to develop measures that will protect endangered species and, at the same time, allowing for sustainable harvesting of abundant stocks.
The estimated number of minke whales in Norwegian water is more than 100 000 animals. The quotas are based on procedures developed by the science comittee in The International Whaling Commission (IWC).
This comittee estimates the numbers to be more than 100.000 individuals.
Number of minke whales caught
|Year||Number of whales||Quota|
Source: Directorate of Fisheries
Minke whales are hunted from vessels between 40 foot and 80 foot, with crew from 4 to 8 persons. Hunting happens in the Norwegian economic zone, in the zone aronund Svalbard, Jan Mayen and in international waters.
Hunting season starts in april and ends in august/september. All vessels need to mount a tachograph ("blue box"), surveillance system. This will register all hunting activity.
There is also a large crew of inspectors to make sure rules are being followed. Hunters need to take an annual course where killing and security are key topics.