Japan urged to stop squandering public cash on dying whaling industry26/09/2012 16:29:43 Japanese whaling fleet needs expensive refit
September 2012. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is urging Japan to abandon its Antarctic whaling programme and stop wasting public money on a cruel and outdated industry. The Japanese whaling fleet's ageing factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, needs repairs estimated to run into millions of dollars in order to make the voyage to the Southern Ocean to hunt Minke whales later this year.
Fisheries ministry keen to hunt whales
Ahead of a decision on funding, Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW's Global Whale Programme, said: "The good people of Japan have lost their yen for whale meat. Why would their government pour more yen into whaling? This is a cruel and outmoded industry drowning in a sea of red ink. Sending an ageing factory ship on yet another taxpayer-funded foray to slaughter whales in an international sanctuary is a foolish idea that can please only fisheries bureaucrats. It is morally and fiscally bankrupt.
Taxpayer subsidising whaling
Japan hunts whales in the seas surrounding Antarctica for so-called ‘science' but in reality this is commercial whaling under another name. Much of the meat is stockpiled in freezers.
The seas surrounding Antarctica were declared a whale sanctuary by the International Whaling Commission in 1994. Twenty-three nations voted in favour of the proposal and only Japan voted against.
IFAW opposes whaling because of the unacceptable cruelty involved; there is simply no humane way to kill a whale. Footage of Japanese whaling analysed by IFAW scientists has shown whales can take more than half an hour to die.
While whaling is uneconomic, whale watching offers a humane and profitable alternative to the cruelty of whaling, generating around US$2.1 billion annually for coastal communities.