Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

Japan's monies for whaling

The recent reports on accusations that monies designated for tsunami reconstruction have been misspent should not come as a shock. But what is really more shocking is the Japanese media’s previous indifference to the story.

I say we should be shocked, but should we really? A Japanese press that has been unwilling, except in some exceptional circumstances, to question its government on the issue of whaling policy, may not be willing to rock the boat on other matters either.

Its seems that projects financed by the $150bn (£93bn) fund include an ad campaign for Japan’s tallest building and support for whaling so-called ‘research’.

But why has the government taken such a position? it seems that the pork-barrel of Japanese politics is coming home to roost.

Among the expenses listed are $30 million dollars for Japan’s yearly whale hunt, $380,000 to promote Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest free-standing broadcast tower, free training for fighter pilots and a subsidy for a contact-lens factory located nowhere near the site of the disaster-hit coast.

At first the initial audit report was ‘largely ignored by the Japanese media, as clientelism – the allocation of budget money to those with close ties, often in exchange for political support, is not unusual in the country’s politics.’ reports rt.com

“Exploiting the construction effort is treacherous to the first degree,” proclaimed a Tokyo Shimbun editorial.

Rt.com goes onto note that Yoshimitsu Shiozaki, an academic specializing in urban planning at Kobe University, who has conducted his own survey of the spending, believes that little will be done to reverse the spending priorities. “But this time the funds are being used in a more deceptive way,” said Shiozaki.

Its a mark of a countries democracy that the public and media can hold their government’s to account.

The Japanese people must begin to question why a stagnant and costly industry such as whaling that benefits so few is receiving such preferential treatment, whilst millions of people are still suffering from the recent disasters? Who in government and the civil service is benefiting and who has their finger on the bank account?