Japan’s whalers have set out again to hunt the marine mammals commercially. The country resumed commercial whaling for the first time in 2019 after a three-decade forced break – under criticism.

The “Yushin Maru No.3” departed from the port of the Japanese city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture on Tuesday, the newspaper “Kyoto Shimbun” reported. The next day, the mother ship “Nisshin Maru” is also scheduled to set sail, processing and transporting harpooned whales.

The two ships are scheduled to start hunting off the coast of the country next Monday. According to the report, 150 Bryde’s whales and 25 Sei whales are on the hit list. In mid-November, the whalers return to Hiroshima.

Japan had been frustrated with whaling moratorium

Japan resumed commercial whale hunting for the first time in 2019 after a three-decade enforced hiatus after the country previously withdrew from the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The reason was Japan’s frustration with the 1986 whaling moratorium. The reason for the moratorium was the heavy hunting and the resulting drastic depletion of many whale populations.

Tokyo has long complained that some member countries are only concerned with whale protection and has campaigned in vain for commercial hunting to be reinstated. Since then, the G7 country has restricted itself to its territorial waters and its economic zone.

Japan stopped hunting in Antarctica – according to official accounts for “scientific purposes”. Japan claims that commercial hunting will not endanger marine mammal populations. Whaling has long been a matter of national sovereignty for Japan. It was once the American occupying power that urged Japan to slaughter whales for the starving population after losing the Second World War in order to provide them with proteins. But that was a long time ago – today the dark whale meat finds only a few lovers.

Further source: wwf.de