Whales are stealing 'our fish'???

makkouRecently the Japanese massmedia have hit on a new theory of justifying whaling. "Whales have increased in numbers so much that they eat 3 to 6 times more fish than humans do. Thus whaling is necessary to save the eco-system and as a policy to ensure food supply." The Institute of Cetacean Research which is carrying out research whaling on behalf of the national government's Fishery Agency states in a pamphlett entitled 'The annual food consumption of all whale species in the world's oceans' that whales consume 280 - 500 million tons of food annually. In order to further substantiate this theory, whaling boats left Japan at the end of July, this time adding 50 Brydes Whales and 10 Sperm Whales to the 100 Minke Whales that they had already been taking from the north Pacific Ocean.

Certainly this theory may sound like music to the ears of people in the fishing industry

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Opening statement for the 52nd IWC from IKAN

IWC/52/OS IKAN

WE OPPOSE "SCIENTIFIC WHALING"

CARRIED OUT BY THE JAPANESEGOVERNMENT,
ITS EXPANSION, AND THE PROPOSAL TO RESUME WHALING

We are a citizen's group active in Japan. Our stance is that the consumption of whale meat is not an indispensable part of the Japanese diet.

It is true that in a certain period after World War II, whale meat was an important source of protein for Japanese people. However, as the war-shattered society recovered, the number of people who continued eating whale meat declined sharply. Nowadays, whale meat is typically consumed as a luxury food, a gourmet specialty item, served along with drinks, or presented as a gift.

The Japanese government has insisted to the international community that whale meat is one of the Japan's traditional foods that is indispensable for the nation. Despite this claim, the industry and government has had to run various campaigns domestically to encourage

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