Industrial whaling is cruel
At the beginning of the 67th session of the International Whaling Commission, a report by the Norwegian government confirms the cruelty of commercial whaling. The report, which is initially supposed to show progress in hunting methods, shows instead that nearly 20% of whales caught by explosive harpoons suffer from 6 to 25 minutes before finally dying.
The data collected during the hunting season in 2011 and 2012 shows that deaths did not occur immediately for a large number of slaughtered 271 minke whales. The average time to death for 49 of these whales was 6 minutes. A whale had to be shot at again after being wounded and only died after a death struggle of 20 to 25 minutes.
The "Walgranate-99" (whale grenade 99), which is made in Norway, contains explosive penthrite and is fired by a harpoon gun, which is mounted on the bow of the whaling boat. The harpoon penetrates up to 30cm in the whale before it detonates. It should generate enough energy to kill the whale either by the enormous wound or the production of shock waves in the brain. On impact, barbs on the harpoon are released and dig into the flesh of the whale as the string tightens.
"At the start of the IWC meeting that is now taking place in Brazil, these shocking figures are a timely reminder of how incredibly cruel industrial whaling is, and it is incomprehensible that Norway is trying to use this report as evidence of animal welfare progress." says Astrid Fuchs, program director at Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).
Japan wants to resume commercial whaling
At the recent IWC meeting, Japan and its allies (among others: Norway) want to convince the world that it is time to lift the ban on whaling and allow commercial whaling again - we reported. Norway's report is another strong argument as to why this should never happen: "We call on all species and animal welfare-oriented members of the IWC to strictly reject the Japanese proposal: Norway and Iceland must finally abide by the international ban on whaling and stop commercial whaling Norway is not in a position to guarantee even humane killing of whales," says Fuchs.
The cruelty of Norwegian, Japanese and Icelandic whaling made headlines last year when it turned out that a large number of pregnant females were regularly killed by the whalers.
Link to the Norwegian Report: https://portal.iwc.int/
(IWC / 67 / WKMWI / 04 Norwegian Minke Whaling 2016 and 2017 / registration required)