You may have seen the american TV show Whale Wars, maybe not. But the bad news is that the new Japanese leader is saying that he will restart the whaling and defy the international court in The Hague that declared Japanese whale hunting was not for scientific purposes. The country halted it’s Antarctic whaling operations last year after the decision.
In summary – animal lovers worship the whale, as the largest and perhaps most intelligent non-human life form, and claim that large-scale hunting of whales solely for food is a thing who’s time has passed. They have been pressing for years for regulation. Japan found a loophole in the existing laws that lets them kill hundreds of whales every year for “research purposes”, and after conducting their research they are allowed to sell the meat to market.
Critics claim that this research can be done in a non-fatal way and say Japan is clearly misrepresenting it’s hunting ships as science vessels, and last year an international court in The Netherlands agreed. Some small island cultures in the extreme North/South waters subsist on whale meat, but the not-small island nation of Japan has whale meat as a part of their culinary culture and can consume far more whale than the small outlying islands.
The show “Whale Wars” follows international activists as they risk their freedom, their boats, and even their lives to stop the Japanese operations, literally trying to save each whale being hunted. The Japanese, claiming they are acting legally, treat these activists as pirates and employ whatever tactics necessary to continue hunting. It makes for amazing TV, and since these whales fetch millions of dollars per animal on the Japanese market, there is a real struggle here.
If you think this is about fishing rights, please don’t confuse a whale with any kind of fish. Whales are mammals just like you and I, breathing air from the surface. Like humans they also are known to mate for life, produce breast milk for their young, stay with and protect their family for their entire lives, and can communicate across the oceans in ways we don’t yet understand. Given that they can only have 1 baby every 4-6 years, activists are concerned about their population numbers.
Well here’s the guy eating some whale at a campaign event, so he ran with this part of his platform, and intends to restart Japanese whaling in the Antarctic sea.
Bad news, but maybe we will get a new season of Whale Wars out of it. Where’s the Sea Shepard?!?