The Norwegian government has given whale hunters permission to kill 1,052 Minke whales in 2006, up from a record-high of 796 last year, despite an international moratorium against it. This follows a parliament decision taken unanimously.
The World Wide Fund for Nature has flayed the decision, which would expand hunts into international waters in the North Atlantic from Norway's own zone for the first time since the 1980s. Norway has been conducting commercial whale hunting since 1993, in defiance of an International Whaling Commission moratorium against it.
The Norwegian government estimates there are about 100,000 Minke whales in the North Atlantic, and claims they are not threatened but are relatively plentiful compared to the endangered blue whales.
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