Japan Begins Whale Hunting With 27-Foot Whale; Calls It “The Best Day”
In the midst of terrifying anticipation of Japan’s announcement to resume commercial whale hunting, here we stand to encounter the heartbreaking carcass of a majestic 27-foot Minke whale brought ashore. Australia urges the nation to rejoin the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on priority. Know more about Japan’s cruel resumption of whale hunting, here.
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Japan Begins Whale Hunting With 27-Foot Whale; Calls it “The Best Day”
Three hours after five ships left Kushiro, the vessel brought ashore the giant carcass of a 27-foot Minke whale, media outlet The Deccan Chronicles reports. This was Japan’s first catch after a hunting hiatus and it was marked with a ceremony.
Head of Japan’s Small-Type Whaling Association, Yoshifumi Kai, said the whale was going to be ‘delicious,’ adding they were able to make a good catch. “Today is the best day,” he said. “We were able to catch a good whale. It’s going to be delicious.”
If the media reports are accurate, the whale’s stomach was slit open mid-sea in order to drain the creature off blood – a technique used to keep the meat fresh. The meat from the whale would be reportedly auctioned at the local markets.
The Demand for Whale Meat has Fallen; So Why Resume Whale Hunting?
Ironically, despite resuming the hunt after lots of international criticism from anti-whaling nations and marine activist groups, Japan’s market for whale meat appears to have declined. According to CNN, the per capita consumption of whale meat has dropped considerably – compared to roughly eating two tablespoons of whale meat a year. In 1964, in contrast, consumption was 154,000 tons and 3,000 tons in 2017.
Spokesperson for Greenpeace Japan, Hisayo Takada, speaking to the New York Times said despite the falling preference of whale meat in Japan, the discussion has become a “sensitive, nationalistic topic.” She added, “It’s not about whaling itself,” but the pride of Japan standing for what they see as their culture.
Australia Urges Japan to Return to IWC “On Priority”
Japan reviving their whaling operation is met with long-drawn international criticism. The country reportedly hunted whales on the pretense of scientific research, but now this is no longer the purpose.
On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, Australia’s government voiced their concerns on the resumption of whale hunting. Marise Payne, Australian Foreign Minister, and Sussan Ley, Environment Minister, in a joint statement on behalf of Canberra, urged Japan to return to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) “as a matter of priority,” reports the Japan Times.
“The Australian Government’s position on whaling has not changed. We remain opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling,” the statement says. “While the Australian Government welcomes the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean, we are disappointed that Japan has withdrawn from the Convention and is resuming commercial whaling.”
A Pirate Whaling Nation?
Marine conservation group Sea Shepherd slammed Japan regarding the resumption, calling the land of the rising sun the “last [of the] remaining pirate whaling nations.”
“Japan NEVER STOPPED whaling over the past 31 years, they simply called it “scientific research” they wore on Twitter. Adding, “Nothing has changed except what they’re calling it and where they’re doing it (no longer in Antarctica, only Japanese waters) . :-(“
Sea Shepherd in their official statement urged the people of Japan to join the global fight, and asked the government to “lay down their harpoons once and for all.”
What do you think about Japan resuming whale hunting? Let me know your thoughts in comments.