Just like Japan’s hunt in the Southern Ocean earlier this year, the spring whaling hunt in the Northwestern Pacific resulted in record law numbers, according to the country’s Fisheries Agency. This time, bad weather, rather than “overzealous” activists are to be blamed.
From April 18 to June 3, the expedition was able to catch only 17 male and 17 female minkes, their lowest since the program started in 2003. They also said that many of the whales are smaller than last year’s haul. When they examined the stomach contents of 22 of the animals they caught, they found out that they mostly eat young sand eels rather than mature sand eels like before.
Japan is able to go around the international moratorium on commercial whaling by saying that their expeditions are for “scientific research.” Activists and other foreign governments continue to criticize Japan over this, saying this is just an excuse to conduct commercial whaling to sell whale meat. But while Japan continues to defend its right to conduct whaling, the public interest in consuming whale meat continues to decline. This has even prompted the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) to advertise that whale meat is “a nutritious food that enhances physical strength and reduces fatigue.” They have even gone so far as selling the meat to the Self-Defense Forces to improve the health and strength of the servicemen, and distributing brochures with delicious ways of cooking and eating it. Moves like this will only stoke activists like Sea Shepherd and other governments to seek the international court’s ruling on punishing Japan for commercial whaling.
[ via MSN ]