According to reports from Japan, whalers there are looking to begin a commercial whale hunt (killing whales for profit) one day after Japan formally withdraws from the IWC (International Whaling Commission – the global body that regulates whale hunting), on July 1st.
This will be the first time Japan has openly hunted whales commercially for three decades and follows the Japanese government’s decision a few weeks ago to break away from the IWC.
The Japanese Fisheries Agency says five vessels will form a hunting fleet and sail along the country’s north-eastern coastline.
Japanese whalers will end their so-called ‘research’ hunts in the Antarctic, which began when the IWC imposed a ban on commercial whaling the mid-1980s after it became apparent that the numbers of whales being killed were unsustainable, and jeopardized whale populations. But Japan has been using a loophole in the regulations and continued to hunt whales for what it called research purposes, despite the fact that most of the meat from these hunts ends up on commercial sale and that little scientific value comes from them.