Great Britain is leading 12 other nations including France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand Argentina, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain, and Brazil in condemning Norwegian whaling as illegal and not supported by science.
British Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw said on behalf of the 12 anti-whaling nations that an increase in Norway's quota to 1,052 whales in 2006 "is premature and not based on the best scientific advice." Britain's embassy in Oslo handed in the formal protest.
Norway has arrogantly refuted the concerns of these 12 nations.
The Norwegians have been illegally violating the global moratorium on commercial whaling since 1986, and they have killed more whales each year since then. They have steadily raised their kills to what is this year over 1,000 whales putting their quota above that of the Japanese Antarctic whaling fleet. Norway is aiming at annual kill quotas in excess of 1,800 whales per year.
Norway insists there are 107,000 piked (minke) whales in the north Atlantic. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports the numbers are unknown. Norway has not explained the scientific rationale for this estimate. The Norwegian government is, according to Britain, "putting pressure on their scientists to justify the widescale destruction of this species."
Captain Paul Watson agrees with the British assessment. "I've attended meetings where Norwegian scientists clearly displayed their political and cultural bias in support of whaling without presenting any scientific validation to back their position."
Lars Walloe, a professor at Oslo University who is chief scientific advisor to the government on marine mammals, told Reuters, "It's frightening that they (the British) make such statements."
"If this is "frightening" to the Norwegians, it simply means they scare easy," countered Captain Watson, "but it is true nonetheless. Norwegian government scientists who advocate the slaughter of the piked (minke) whales are biostitutes, nothing more that hired whores for the whaling industry."
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been the most aggressive opponent of illegal Norwegian whaling since 1992 when the Society organized the scuttling of the Norwegian pirate whaler Nybraena. Since then, the Society has confronted the Norwegian Navy at sea and two other outlaw Norwegian whalers were scuttled dockside in Norway resulting in increased insurance premiums and security costs.