Commercial Whaling begins- The end of an era was marked today, on July 1 as five boats set sail from the northern port of Japan.
Japan has officially resumed commercial whaling after 31 years.
- Last December, PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe formally withdrew from IWC (International Whaling Commission).
- Japan’s chief cabinet secretary said at the time, ”Japan’s basic policy, of promoting the sustainable use of aquatic living resources based on scientific evidence has not changed”
- Japan has been killing whales in the name of scientific research. The truth is invariably different.
- The International Court of Justice in 2014 declared killing whales in the name of science illegal.
Activists from Anti-whaling organisation Sea Shepherd are considering going back to sea in order to try and intercept whaling ships and stop the whale populace from dwindling further.
Whale meat gained cultural integrity after the defeat in the second world war. It was cheap, nutritious and easily available.
The demand of whale meat has fallen to a staggering low. Analysts say that Japan’s move is one for saving face as the demand for meat falls with rising prices.
The entire industry employs only 300 people. This makes it fairly obvious that the prices will rise. Especially after Abe decided to end $400 Million in annual tax breaks and subsidies provided to whalers to conduct so-called scientific research.
The number of whales that will be killed has not yet been officially announced but it will probably be significantly lower.
By leaving the Whaling industry to survive at the whim of market forces, Abe has found a very “Japanese-elegant way” of allowing the industry to die out on its own.