Subject: Norway/Whale Discussion Case

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Mon, 29 Jul 1994 12:24:00

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Subject: Norway/Whale Discussion Case
 
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Subj:	NORWAY WANTS MINKE WHALES OFF
 
Date:         Thu, 28 Jul 1994 03:19:00 UTC
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
Subject:      NORWAY WANTS MINKE WHALES OFF
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NORWAY WANTS MINKE WHALES OFF U.N. ENDANGERED LIST
    By Alister Doyle
    OSLO, July 21 (Reuter) - Norway said on Thursday it wanted
minke whales taken off a United Nations list of most endangered
species but rejected charges by Greenpeace that it aimed to
start exports of whale meat.
    The foreign ministry said Norway wanted signatories of the
U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) to relax restrictions on minke whales at a meeting in
November in the United States.
    Minke whales, a relatively small type of the marine mammal,
are listed among species in danger of extinction on CITES
Appendix One, under which all hunts and trade are banned.
    Oslo, which resumed commercial hunts of minke whales last
year after a six-year break, wants the whales shifted to
Appendix Two of less threatened species. Under Appendix Two,
restricted exports under licence would be allowed.
    ``The minke whale is not a stock threatened by extinction
and doesn't belong on Appendix One,'' foreign ministry spokesman
Arthur Baste Knudsen said. ``We want it classified in line with
reality. But we have no plans for exports.''
    Oslo says that stocks in the northeast Atlantic total 86,700
mammals and can withstand limited catches.
    The environmental group Greenpeace, which has clashed
repeatedly with whalers and the Norwegian coastguard in recent
weeks, said a change of classification would be a first step
towards exports.
    ``Norway wants it taken off the list as it could continue
its whaling more profitably by exporting to Japan,'' Greenpeace
spokesman Stefan Flothmann said aboard the Greenpeace vessel
Sirius, held by police in the western port of Egersund. Whale
meat is a delicacy in Japan.
    Four Greenpeace activists were being held by police in
Egersund, charged with trying to disrupt hunts in the North Sea
on Wednesday. This year whalers have a quota of 301 of the
mammals.
    Flothmann said Norway may be vastly overestimating the
stocks.
    Knudsen said Norway's government has repeatedly refused
requests for export permits for whale meat and products --
ranging from skeletons for display in foreign museums to whale
penises, an aphrodisiac in some Asian nations.
    ``Whale products require export permits and none will be
given,'' he said.