Commercial whaling to recommence in Japan after 30 years

Five vessels will take part in a week-long whaling operation in Japan starting July 1.
Five vessels will take part in a week-long whaling operation in Japan starting July 1. Photo credit: Getty

Japan will resume commercial whaling after 30 years, following a Government announcement in December to pull out of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Five vessels will take part in an operation on July 1, where activities will take place for about a week, a local fishery source told The Japan Times, sparking outrage online.

"It's not only cruel but it's senseless - whale meat is on the decline in Japan!" one Twitter user said.

"This news makes me sick," another wrote.

Commercial whaling stopped in Japan in 1988, but in what it says are for "research purposes", the country has continued to hunt whales, The Japan Times reports.

Environmental groups, including Greenpeace Japan, said the Government had failed and must "act urgently to conserve marine ecosystems".

"As a result of modern fleet technology, overfishing in both Japanese coastal waters and high seas areas has led to the depletion of many whale species," a statement from Greenpeace executive director Sam Annesley said in December.

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