Norway's whalers killed 729 minke whales this season, despite falling demand for whale meat. There are only three countries that still hunt whales - Norway, Iceland and Japan - defying an international ban on whaling that has been in effect since 1986. (Japan's whaling industry claims the whales it harpoons are culled for scientific purposes, a practice debunked by experts.)
This year marks Norway's deadliest whaling season since the industry began ignoring the International Whaling Commission (IWC) ban. In a 2013 statement, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries says the IWC "has become an exclusively conservationist organization that does not base its decisions on scientific principles," and Norway "has formally reserved the right to disregard" the IWC's zero-catch quota for minke whales.
Norwegians, however, are refusing to eat the whale meat. "We possess more meat than we can sell and that is not a favorable position to be in," says director of the Norwegian fishing company Åge Eriksen to NRK Nordland, translated by the Independent. Of 700 metric tons of whale meat, an estimated 200 will go unsold.