Whale Meat Piling Up In Japanese Freezers - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Whale Meat Piling Up In Japanese Freezers

Published March 28, 2014

Photos by
Gúndi

As demand for whale meat in Japan plummets, one of Iceland’s only overseas consumers of the product are seeing an ever-increasing surplus.
Whale Meat Piling up in Japanese Freezers

The Associated Press reports that research is shifting more towards the economic, rather than the environmental, sustainability of whaling. In particular, as the Japanese themselves have started eating less of it.

Japan is one of a few countries, including Norway and Iceland, which continue to hunt whales despite the moratorium. Activists from the group Sea Shepherd try to block the whalers by dragging ropes in the water to damage their propellers, and by lobbing smoke bombs at the ships, and through other methods.

Whale meat not used for study is sold as food in Japan. But according to Fisheries Agency statistics, the amount of whale meat stockpiled in freezers at major Japanese ports totaled about 4,600 tons at the end of 2012, from less than 2,500 tons in 2002.

Japan has been one of Iceland’s export countries for whale meat. As reported, Icelandic fin whale meat has even been exported to Japan to be made into dog food.

The news of the drop in demand, and the stockpiling whale meat, comes in the wake of arecent international effort to get shops and restaurants not to buy Icelandic seafood that comes from companies connected with whaling.

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