Japan Awaits Whale Meat Shipment From Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Japan Awaits Whale Meat Shipment From Iceland

Published July 20, 2015

Photos by
Skari

Japan’s whale meat stocks are depleting, waiting for a shipment from Iceland, but there are signs demand for the meat in Japan is on the wane.

The Japan Times reports that the country’s whale meat wholesalers only have about 1,157 tonnes of whale meat left, and falling. This is the lowest amount of whale meat Japan has had since 2000, when there were only 817 tonnes in stock.

The shortage is attributed to Japan catching no whales during its “scientific” whaling season earlier this year, which came to an end when the International Court of Justice forbade Japan from conducting any more whaling in the Antarctic.

Even when the meat arrives, there will still be obstacles to overcome, as the meat is inspected and registered by customs officials – a process that can take considerable time.

However, Japanese consumption of whale meat is reportedly falling, with some estimates of annual consumption placed at 30 grammes per person per year.

Nonetheless, Japan awaits the shipment of fin whale meat from Iceland, traveling on the ship Winter Bay, currently traversing Russian waters with 1,700 tonnes of the meat in store.

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