This plan was enacted in order to make up for the loss of profit from the scientific whaling industry. The Japanese scientific whaling program costs 4.5-5 billion yen annually (about US$60 million). They have been selling less and less to meat traders because the general consumption of whale meat by Japanese people has been decreasing.
Beginning next year, the JFA will:
- sell more whale meat to the public via mail order
- sell whale meat directly to restaurants
- provide more whale meat for school lunches at a lower cost
According to several reports, this isn’t the first time the government has had to look for money elsewhere to pay for the whaling program. In 2011, the government used 2.28 billion yen (about US$28 million) from the March 2011 tsunami/earthquake recovery fund, in addition to its $6 million annual subsidy, to pay for the hunt.
To learn more:
- Check out this story from the Guardian: Japan’s appetite for whale meat wanes
- Read the full report from, IKAN, a Japanese whale and dolphin action network: Whale Meat Doesn’t Sell: The ICR Reports Miserable Result of Auction
- See the survey that revealed most Japanese people don’t actually eat whale meat: Opinion Poll on Scientific Whaling
- Find out about the use of the earthquake recovery fund money: Japan whaling fleet accused of using tsunami disaster funds
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.