An article printed today stated that this time of year sees the Japanese whaling fleet of 6 ships setting of to carry out ‘scientific testing’ on 1000 whales in The Southern Ocean. This method of ‘testing’ involves harpooning the whale, measuring and whaling the dead whale and finally delivering it to market, sliced, diced, boxed and frozen ready to be sold.
In 1986 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling and in 1994 The Southern Ocean was declared a Whale Sanctury. However a loophole in this legislation means that every year the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) sends their whaling fleets into the protected areas. The IWC however, states that they do not need the data produced by the FAJ ‘research’. The FAJ claims, “according to Japanese cultural values whales are viewed as a food source.” When the Japanes Asahi newspaper took an opinion poll in 2000 they reported that only 4% of the Japanese population regularly eat whale meat whereas 53% haven’t eaten it since childhood and a further 33% have never eaten the meat. These results to not provide a very convincing case for the death of 1000 whales a year.