Tokyo Tidbit: Still Doing That? But Not Only Japan

Even the Japanese are embarrassed by it and don’t understand why it’s still being done when most of the world opposes it. Yet, it’s still being done: The Fisheries Agency announced that Japanese whalers caught 195 whales in the northwest Pacific under a “research” program—the International Whaling Commission (IWC) bans commercial whaling but allows whaling for research purposes. And as officials never tire to point out: the IWC requires that the meat not be wasted. 

Alas, whale meat is not considered a delicacy. Back when whales were still hunted in large numbers, the meat was mostly served in schools for lunch though that has stopped long ago. People who ate it, remember it as something that was sometimes spicy and often fried. Now it’s sold at a few supermarkets and restaurants.

During the annual three-month Pacific expedition, 95 sei whales, 50 Bryde’s whales, 49 minke whales, and 1 sperm whale were killed. However, these numbers don’t include the hundreds of whales caught in the Antarctic Ocean.

Other whaling nations are Norway and Iceland. And yes, the U.S., where whaling continues under the aboriginal-subsistence provisions of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), though that same provision could have been, but wasn’t applied to Japanese whaling communities. So it’s all quite messy. And political.

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