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Headlines      As Sea Shepherd Blocks Whaling Ships, Japanese Public Rejects Eating Whale Meat
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06 January 2011
 
As Sea Shepherd Blocks Whaling Ships, Japanese Public Rejects Eating Whale Meat
 
In the high seas of the Antarctic ocean conservation group the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society attempted to disable the Japanese whaling boat the Yushin Maru-2 last Wednesday.  As the whalers yelled fowl at the actions of the anti-whaling group a new economic battle has emerged as Japanese consumers turn away from eating whale meat.
 
Since 1975 conservation group Greenpeace has taken to the seas with direct action against the slaughter of whales by Japan and other nations.  The world has been drip fed a menu of videos graphically showing the harpooning, the dragging of this animals onto ships by their tails and finally the slashing into half by huge their carcasses as blood flows back into the sea.
 
Each year political ping pong is played at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which since 1986 has banned commercial whaling, yet allows Japan to continue it’s slaughter of whales for ‘scientific’ purposes.
 
While year to year the figures can change between 2006-2007 Japan killed an estimated 866 whales.  In 2010 the IWC gave 950 scientific permits to Japan.
 
The category of scientific permits has been dismissed by many conservationists and for years it’s been well known that the meat is destine for the plates of Japanese restaurants, seen as a delicacy.
 
Today it’s been announced that demand for whale meat in Japan appears to have plummeted as stocks hit a record 6000 tons as recorded in August.
 
Within Japan conservation group, The Dolphin and Whale Action Network (Iruka & Kujira) believes that this drop can only be attributed to consumers turning away from whale meat consumption.  
 
After years of campaigning using those videos of the horrendous way in which whales die in the open sea, consumers appear to be turning their backs on eating whale meat.
 
With consumption down the political debate may finally turn as whaling may turn out not to be financially viable.

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References:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110105x2.html

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/whaling/campaign-history/

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gIzIzrV1Rh_566ewsfvN1wXkIx4g?docId=CNG.7f52d5080666c6faeec68359512796af.3f1

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/04/3105737.htm?site=melbourne

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/threats/whaling/whaling_facts/

http://iwcoffice.org/conservation/permits.htm


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