Japan resumes commercial whaling
In December 2018 Japan announced that it would hunt and kill whales for commercial purposes in the future - we reported. On Monday, July 1, 2019, the Japanese whalers have departed, and meanwhile the first whale has been killed.
Already in the past years, Japan had killed 333 whales in the Southern Ocean each year, under the guise of scientific investigations. The meat of the killed whales was subsequently offered on the Japanese market. When the country requested to return to "sustainable whaling" at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in September last year, but did not receive a majority, it forged a new plan: out of the IWC and back into commercial whaling but only in its own territorial waters. These plans have now been implemented by the government.
Clare Perry, of the Environmental Investigation Agency (eia) commented: "By aggressively opting for commercial whaling outside the IWC, Japan has established itself as a pirate whaling state, with serious repercussions for whale stocks in the world."
For the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019, the Japanese Fisheries Authority has released the commercial quotas of 52 minke whales, 150 Bryde's whales and 25 sei whales. Sei whales are classified as threatened by the IUCN.
On the first day of whale hunting a minke whale was killed as can be seen in a video. Juliet Phillips witnessed the landing and said, "It is a deeply depressing spectacle to see the first victim of Japan's first open commercial whale hunt for 30 years - despite the lack of demand for whale meat in restaurants and on the markets." In fact, whale meat is in Japan is no longer on the menu – at least not too often, there is hardly any demand, so the reasons for Japan's return to commercial whaling are probably in the interests of the fishing industry and a kind of "traditional stubbornness".
More Info: https://eia-international.org.