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DevilDiver
12-22-2008, 22:09
Norway Announces Sharply Lower Whaling Quota For 2009

Norway on Thursday authorised its whalers to harpoon 885 minke whales in 2009, a quota sharply down from previous years in what animal rights activists saw as a sign of consumers' growing disinterest for whale meat.

For the period 2006-2008, the quota was 1,052 minke whales per year but whalers fell short each year, killing around half the allowed number, according to environmental group Greenpeace.

"The quota is a little lower than in 2008. This is linked to the fact that in 2009, we will be launching a new (stocks) management programme, in which unused quotas can no longer be transferred from one year to another," the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate said in a statement.

The quota of 885 whales will be applied each year until 2013, the directorate said.

Whalers attribute the low catch numbers to an inadequate geographical distribution of the quotas, soaring fuel prices, difficult weather conditions and a crunch in processing and distribution channels.