Japan’s hunt for dolphins, whales and porpoises can become a dangerous practice both for humans and cetaceans, leading some species to extinction and threatening the human health, according to a recent study called “Toxic Catch: Japan’s unsustainable and irresponsible whale, dolphin and porpoise hunts” released by the UK’s non government affiliated Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).
Japanese whale hunting has been described as being “unsustainable” and “irresponsible” by the study.
“The hunts in Japan’s coastal waters specifically target nine small cetacean species, eight of them with Government-set catch limits which are clearly unsustainable,” the study mentioned.
“For 2013, the catch limits allow the slaughter of 16,655 small cetaceans, but our analysis of available scientific data raises very serious concerns about the sustainability of these hunts. In using outdated population information and lacking a scientifically rigorous method for setting catch limits, the Government is displaying a lack of responsibility and is failing to implement its own policies of sustainable utilization,” it added.
Every year, Japanese whaling ships catch and often times brutally butcher up to 17,000 small whales, dolphins and porpoises (known collectively as smaller cetaceans) that are found along its coastlines, according to the international press. More than one million cetaceans have been killed in Japan’s waters in the past 70 years.
Despite the international criticism regarding Japan’s whaling methods, the country says its whaling habits are a matter of tradition.
The report was released in Tokyo on October 31.