Japanese whalers raise stakes by targeting vulnerable humpbacks
“Although we are subjected to vicious blocking tactics by environmental groups we have to continue this into the future,” said the fleet’s captain, Hajima Ishikawa, at a ceremony to mark its departure. Other officials urged Japan’s people to fight for their whale-eating culture. But Japanese tastes have changed, and whale-eating is in decline. Previous catches have been held in storage, creating a “blubber mountain” of many thousands of tonnes. Schoolchildren have been given lectures on the delights of grilled whale flesh, and unsold whalemeat has ended up on the menus of old people’s homes.