Japan on June 30 withdrew from the International Whale Committee (IWC), which passed a ban on commercial whaling in 1986. Since then, Japan has been fishing more than 300 whales each. years, but to “serve scientific research”.
Many Japanese fishermen seem to agree with the government lifting the ban on whaling for commercial purposes. Mr. Mitsuhiko Maeda, who has been a senior whale hunter for decades, said: “Whaling is part of my life. This job should be restarted. Japan has a culinary culture about whales. “. However, the whaling industry is only a small industry in Japan, with about 300 participants. The industry is facing many difficulties such as rising costs and especially the declining whale meat demand of the Japanese people. The Fisheries Agency of Japan has allocated a budget of about $ 463 million in subsidies for whaling in fiscal 2019. Whaling and eating is a part of traditional Japanese culture, formed and maintained in some coastal regions for decades. The Japanese consumed the whale meat the most during World War II, when other food sources became scarce.
From the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, whales were the most consumed meat in Japan. In 1964, Japan consumed 154,000 tons of whale meat. However, this number has lately diminished, as Japanese people have easier access to other foods and are less salty with whale meat. In 2017, Japan consumed 5,000 tons of whale meat, which means that the average average person eats only two tablespoons of whale meat per year.