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  Yahoo News 26 Oct 07
Norway's whalers fail to meet quota for 2007

Norwegian whalers killed only half of the total number of minke whales they were entitled to hunt this year, the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate said on Friday.

Whalers were authorised to hunt 1,052 animals in 2007. But the 33 whaling ships harpooned only 592, the directorate said.

The official 2007 whaling season opened on April 1 and closed on August 31.

Whalers attributed the low catch to an inadequate geographical distribution of the quotas, even though authorities had this year tried to accomodate them by increasing the quota of whales that could be caught along the coastline and decreasing those further out to sea.

Apart from Iceland, Norway is the only country to authorise commercial whaling despite an international ban in place since 1986.

Norway has significantly increased its quotas in recent years, arguing that stocks of minke whales are abundant in the North Atlantic. However, whalers have consistently failed to meet their quotas since 2001.

Anti-whaling organisations maintain that whale meat, which was once considered food for the poor in the Scandinavian country, is no longer sought out by consumers.

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