Thursday, 4 October 2012

Japan urged to stop squandering public cash on dying whaling industry

Japanese whaling fleet needs expensive refit
September 2012. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is urging Japan to abandon its Antarctic whaling programme and stop wasting public money on a cruel and outdated industry. The Japanese whaling fleet's ageing factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, needs repairs estimated to run into millions of dollars in order to make the voyage to the Southern Ocean to hunt Minke whales later this year.

Fisheries ministry keen to hunt whales
According to media reports, a Japanese government committee will meet later this week to decide whether to allocate the taxpayer funds needed to meet the cost of the extensive refit to the 25-year-old vessel. It was initially rumoured that the upcoming whaling season was in doubt due to the high costs and length of time needed for repairs, but the Fisheries Agency of Japan is keen for an immediate refit to prolong the life of the Nisshin Maru.

Ahead of a decision on funding, Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW's Global Whale Programme, said: "The good people of Japan have lost their yen for whale meat. Why would their government pour more yen into whaling? This is a cruel and outmoded industry drowning in a sea of red ink. Sending an ageing factory ship on yet another taxpayer-funded foray to slaughter whales in an international sanctuary is a foolish idea that can please only fisheries bureaucrats. It is morally and fiscally bankrupt.

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