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Scientists confirm great abundance of minke whales


Scientists confirm great abundance of minke whales

High North News (16.06.03): The report of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, published today, confirms that the North Atlantic minke whale is still abundant.

The new estimate is 107,000 minke whales and covers the North East Atlantic stock and a small area around Jan Mayen in the Central North Atlantic stock.

,The Scientific Committee fully agreed to the new estimate and the sighting surveys used for calculating the abundance estimate,” says Prof. Lars Walll,, head of the Norwegian delegation to the Scientific Committee.

The previous estimate from 1996 for the same area was 118,000 animals.

,Perhaps some anti-whaling activists will try to create the impression that the minke whale stock is depleted. But, scientifically speaking there is no difference between the new and the previous estimate. Basically, the new estimate reconfirms that the minke whale in the area is abundant,” says Prof. Wall,.

,We are glad to hear that the international scientists once again confirm that the minke whale stock we hunt is healthy and by no means threatened. This is in accordance with the observations we make out at sea, that there are plenty of minke whales,” says Bjorn Hugo Bendiksen, vice-president of the Norwegian Whalers’ Association, just back from catching his whales this season.

So far Norwegian whalers have caught about 400 out of this year’s quota of 711 minke whales. The season started on 12 May and will finish on 31 August at the latest.

For more information about Norwegian whaling: Fact sheet: Norwegian Whaling (English) http://www.highnorth.no/iwc2003/www_norway.htm

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