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The Decline in whale meat consumption demand might be the only hope for a decrease in Japanese whaling. Japan is resuming whaling practices despite international protest.
Joji Morishita the director general for the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fishery and Japanese commissioner to the International Whaling Commission said that Japan is going to return it’s whaling ships to the Antarctic this year and resume whale hunting.
The Institute of Cetacean Research a non-profit organization. has been conducting Japan’s whaling activities in recent years. The Research Center is supposed to be specializing in whale related biological and social sciences.
Under different programs the Cetacean Research Institute has been conducting supposed research between 2005 and 2014 when the IWC issued a cease order.
Commercial Whaling has been banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission but Japan has been continuing its whale hunting due to an exception for scientific purposes.
Reports say that Japan has abused this exemption applied for research and that the meat is being sold to Japanese restaurants and fish shops.
The IWC has declared that Japan has not proven it’s activities have any scientific benefits or that serious research is being conducted.
In this time several thousands whales were killed for supposed studies by the Japanese.
Now that the IWC has listened to the Japan’s arguments it is still maintaining the order to cease hunting activities. This despite efforts and hopes from officials like Joji Morishita.
The new plan concerning Antarctic hunting submitted by the Japanese states that only 333 Minke Whales will be killed between 2015 and 2027.
It seems that the decrease in whale meat demand and the international protests have convinced the Japanese to at least reduce their target quotas to about a third.
It might also be a case of International Image, as even Japanese citizens are protesting the hunting practices and the negative image they bring to the citizens and country of Japan.
Whale hunting and the consumption of whale meat date to as far back as the 12th century in Japan.
Japanese Officials regard the consumption of whale meat as natural as any other. They also claim that the only reason whale hunting is regarded as negative, comes from the “cultural sympathies” that Western Nations entertain.
Image Source: japantimes.co.jp