Japan whalers bring home 1st commercial catch in 31 years:The Asahi Shimbun

Marine habitat destroyed Sea life abused File image

Marine habitat destroyed Sea life abused File image

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Environment Minister Sussan Ley said in a joint statement that Canberra urges Japan to return to the IWC "as a matter of priority".

"I am very disappointed by Japan's decision to pull out of the International Whaling Commission after the International Court of Justice ruled their previous whaling program was not for scientific purposes".

Its stomach had been cut open at sea, mostly draining the blood from the whale, a technique to keep the meat fresh.

Australian officials have condemned Japan's resumption of commercial whaling. The mother factory ship Nisshin-maru and two support boats that used to go to the Antarctic will travel as far as Japan's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone to catch minke, Bryde's and sei whales.

The 8.3m whale arrived on Monday in the northern Japanese town of Kushiro, where hours earlier five ships had set out on the hunt. Photos later showed a boat returning with a minke whale.

The IWC is an worldwide group established for the objective of global whale conservation, of which most of the world's nations are part.

Whale meat was an affordable source of protein during the lean times after World War II, but whale was quickly replaced by other meats. In 1946, the global body began its work in protecting the populations of these magnificent animals from illegal and commercial whaling.

But a Japanese government official said "demand has been stable".

The whalers will be allowed to catch 227 whales in Japanese waters - 150 Bryde's, 52 minkes and 25 sei whales.

The supply of whale meat fell to 6 000 tons in 1986, the year before the moratorium on commercial whaling imposed by the IWC banned the hunting of several whale species. Whale meat has always been a traditional delicacy in South Korea, and southeastern coastal towns have a number of whale meat restaurants where the average price of a 300-gram dish stands at 77,000 won ($66.2), higher than that of high-quality beef.

In Japan, whaling isn't a particularly lucrative business, and it has in fact relied on government subsidies for years.

There has been no safety management by health authorities to monitor the level of organic pollutants and heavy metals contained in whale meat, the state board said, pointing to the consistent consumption of Cetacean meat, which has been traded with no proper safety management or inspection of heavy metals and other hazardous materials.

The resumption of traditional whaling may end up saving money for the government money and saving the lives of many whales, experts say.

"I myself want to eat (whale meat) as soon as possible", Mr. Kai answered. Organizations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace often harassed Japan's whaling fleet in the Antarctic, describing them as pirate whalers. Since then the country's whaling industry has reduced in dimension to suitable a handful of microscopic companies the usage of barely 300 folks.

The first commercial whale hunt since 1988 took place in Japan on Monday.

Norway and Iceland furthermore overtly defy the global ban, whereas an exemption lets in indigenous communities in areas treasure Greenland and Alaska to hunt whales.

Patrick Ramage is the head of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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