Japanese whaling costs much taxpayers’ money

This video says about itself:

Whaling is cruel and unnecessary. It has driven some species such as the northern right whale close to extinction. WDCS is leading the campaign to end whaling. Please support us.

From Wildlife Extra:

Japan‘s whaling industry heavily subsidized by Japanese Government

New research reveals true cost of Japanese whaling

February 2013. Japan’s dying whaling industry is being propped up by millions of pounds a year in public money, according new research by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Japanese government diverted tsunami relief funds to support whaling

In the report, The Economics of Japanese Whaling, IFAW claims that the Japanese government even diverted tsunami relief funds to support whaling. Annual government subsidies for Japanese whaling average around 782 million yen (£5.35m), but in 2011 this increased by around 2.28 billion yen (£15.6m).

The report, prepared following a year-long research effort conducted by leading Japan-based agencies commissioned by IFAW, provides the clearest picture ever of the failing whaling industry based largely on the government of Japan’s own data, never before presented in this way, inside or outside Japan.

Whaling economics

While the findings demonstrate that whaling is unprofitable and catering to an increasingly shrinking and ageing market, whale watching is, by contrast, a growth industry.

Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW’s Global Whale Programme, said: “Here it is, for the first time, in black and white. IFAW’s report proves conclusively that Japan’s cruel whaling industry is dying in the water while Japanese taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill. This cruel, outmoded industry is in the red. Whaling is an economic loser.

“Now is the time for concerned citizens, NGOs and governments around the world to stop bludgeoning the good people of Japan and start helping them migrate from whaling to whale watching – a profitable solution that benefits whales, people and coastal communities in Japan and around the world.”

Japanese whale watching

Whale watching is worth around £1.3 billion annually. In Japan alone, whale watching generated around £14 million in 2008. There are currently around 30 whale watching operators working from a dozen locations around the Japanese coast.

Whale watching in Japan might become even more economically succesful, if the whaling would stop, and the whales would tend less to keep away from ships.

The country’s whaling fleet left port in December for Antarctica to train its harpoons on around 1,000 whales, in defiance of global opposition and several international laws. Japan hunts whales under the pretence of so-called science despite a worldwide ban on commercial whaling. IFAW believes Japan’s whaling produces sham science and is merely commercial whaling by another name.

IFAW opposes whaling because it is cruel and unnecessary; scientists agree there is simply no humane way to kill a whale. This is proved by footage of Japanese whaling which has shown whales taking more than half an hour to die. In addition, much of the meat is merely stockpiled or sold cheaply to schools and hospitals.

Fishermen in Japan have adopted a new way of killing dolphins in drive hunts – but the method is no more humane than the previous techniques, say vets and dolphin behaviour experts: here.

Japan relying on out-of-date data for hunts of small cetaceans, putting some populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises at risk, warns Environmental Investigation Agency: here.

A coalition of international animal welfare and conservation groups is calling on the Obama Administration to impose economic sanctions against Iceland after Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf announced it will hunt and sell the meat of up to 184 endangered Fin whales this summer after a two year hiatus. Iceland is one of three countries that refuse to abide by international whaling laws banning the killing and trading of whales for commercial gain. The groups have sent a letter to the US Secretaries of State, Commerce and Interior calling for stronger measures by the Obama Administration: here.

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