The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said that selling whale meat is not profitable enough compared to the cost of maintaining the whaling fleet that performs operations in the Southern Ocean.
“The whaling industry has been operating in the red for more than twenty years now,” said Patrick Ramage of IFAW. “It is the taxpayer subsidies provided by the good people of Japan that have been keeping the whaling industry afloat.”
“We have encouraged (policymakers) to consider the alternative of whale watching and we have been met with an especially positive response. Ultimately the decision to end whaling… will be made here in Tokyo by Japanese decision makers for reasons that make sense to them,” Ramage added.
Japanese stopped eating large quantities of whale meat since a peak in 1960, while Japan has about 5,000 tones stockpiled, according to the group.
A Japanese fisheries agency official said the country’s whaling is made for scientific purposes and that is not an industry. However, Japan’s whaling fleet left port in December, planning to catch about 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean