Europe

Norway kicks off minke whale hunt as scant demand

Norway on Saturday kicked off its annual six-month whale hunt season with a quota of 999 minke whales, up from 880 animals in 2016.

However, shares are never taken in whole because demand is scant — between 30 and 60 percent of the quota in recent years — and the industry has seen its numbers decrease because of retiring whalers.

The International Whaling Commission imposed a commercial ban on whaling in 1986, but Norway objected.

Greenpeace called Norwegian whaling "a dying industry" and maintained it is wrong of Norway to violate international agreement

Norwegian officials estimate there are more than 100,000 North Atlantic minke whales — not an endangered species — off Norway where the hunt takes place.