Dead in the Water

The Japanese whaling industry is dying, but the government is still spending millions to keep it alive. It’s getting a renewed financial boost now. Where is the money coming from? Taxpayer dollars and funds earmarked for tsunami disaster relief.

Despite a decline in the demand for whale meat, nearly 30 years of a moratorium on commercial whaling, a Japanese public ambivalent to keeping the industry afloat, and international pressure to abandon the program, conservatives in government continue to shovel money into its gaping mouth.

The Guardian reports on it, as there’s been increased concern about the government subsidy as the Japanese economy works to recover from the financial crisis topped with the fallout from March 2011.  In an interview with Australian media, Masayuki Komatsu – the man who engineered the “research” program that kept the Japanese whaling fleet in business after the 1986 moratorium on commercial catches – says it’s time for an end to the subsidy. C’mon Japanese people, get mad and put an end to it.


1 Comment

  1. DeanS
    05 February 13, 6:27am

    Rather doubtful especially with a useful “villain” in the form of Sea Shepherd for the pro-whaling forces. It’s not even about how many whale are caught really, it’s supporting the home team against the aggressors in the conflict and not giving up, makes for a good boondoggle. Filming of the current season is going on right now. It really seems as though SS is more focused on Japan than other whaling countries. Compare Taiji vs the Faroe Islands, SS is reported to keep a crew to monitor the Taiji hunt. But on the Whale Wars Viking Shores they just leave to go after the Japanese whaling fleet without stopping any whaling on the Faroe Islands and a week later a hunt occurs(with no footage).

    With all the attention(and venom) directed at Japan, an announcement like Korea’s 2012 by-catch of 2350 whales falls through the cracks. Compare that number to Japan’s 2012 whaling quota of 1,000 minke and 50 fin whales and Norway’s 2012 quota of 1,286 minke whales(neither country caught their full quota either). According to one article the past ten years alone, cetacean by-catch in South Korean waters has accounted for 33 percent of global whale mortality.

    Not avalable in english, interestingly the most recent article on whaling in english on the KBS site is Korea’s announcement that they want to resume research whaling.

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