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How to avoid whale meat in Norway

WDC has put together advice on how to avoid eating whale meat and supporting Norway's whaling industry when you visit the country.

All large whale species are protected from being killed for commercial purposes under a global ban. However, Norway continues to hunt minke whales under an ‘objection’ to this ban.

Hundreds of minke whales are killed each summer by Norwegian whalers – shockingly, since 2000, more than two-thirds of the minkes killed by Norwegian whalers were female and almost half of these were pregnant.

Worse still, despite huge government subsidies and promotion campaigns, whale meat is not even a popular dish for most Norwegian families and young people; instead, it is mainly consumed by just two sectors: older Norwegians and tourists.

Whale meat is widely available in restaurants, supermarkets, dockside fish markets and aboard cruise ships. Tourists may be offered whale products in buffets or barbeques, but please be aware that the meat may also appear unlabelled in dishes identified as ‘traditional’, ‘local specialities’ or ‘A Taste of Norway’.

Norway’s hunts are wasteful. After removing the prime cuts of meat, much of the carcass is thrown overboard. This is against Norwegian law and poses a risk to other vessels as well as to human health. Unsold whale meat is used in pet food and to feed animals on Norwegian fur farms.

We need your help!

WDC is working with other NGOs to urge tourists to ignore the marketing hype and restaurant billboards and remain true to their core values. The plain truth is that whaling is a cruel and wasteful industry that has no place in the 21st century.

If you are travelling to Norway, please have a look at our flyer.

Please try to avoid any venues where whale meat is served. If that’s not possible, politely ask for a message to be passed to the restaurant owner that you would prefer that they didn’t offer whale products. If enough people make that request, the venue receives a clear message that tourists don’t want to see dead whales on the menu.

Simply by opting not to eat whale meat, you are helping to reduce demand - and thus reduce the incentive for the whalers to continue their cruel trade.

This simple act will help us enormously in our efforts to keep whales in the sea - rather than on a plate - allowing current visitors, as well as future generations, to enjoy seeing whales and dolphins in the wild.