TOKYO -- Chunks of meat from the first whales caught since Japan resumed commercial whaling this week fetched "celebration prices" at auction Thursday. The meat came from two minkes caught by a fleet of five catcher boats off the northern city of Kushiro on Monday when Japan resumed commercial whaling after 31 years. During those years it conducted research hunts in the Antarctic and the northwestern Pacific that conservations criticized as a cover for banned commercial hunts. Japan left the International Whaling Commission on June 30 and has promised the whalers will stay within its mile exclusive economic zone waters. The Fisheries Agency set the catch quota through the end of the year at whales — fewer than the Japan had hunted in those distant waters for its research program in recent years.
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Whale Meat: A Controversial Japanese Food - PriceListo Blog
Both sums are exaggerated. The letter also says that "the Japanese whaling industry continues to kill hundreds of minke whales every year under the guise of scientific research, only to sell the meat for high prices. The Japanese whaling industry was dissolved in by Government order. The research catches are under the control of the Japanese Government and the Institute of Cetacean Research. Whale products surplus to research needs are sold, and proceeds are used to finance the research.
Price of Whale Meat
Indeed, whale meat is among the most controversial food in Japanese cuisine mainly because many species of whales are considered endangered. Before, whale meat was eaten by many, if not most, Japanese as a meat replacement for all protein sources. Ask any middle-aged Japanese about his or her memories of whale meat and the answer will likely hark back to nostalgia, particularly of school meals nearly 50 years ago. At that time, whale meat was a staple in the Japanese diet. Today, there are only handfuls of Japanese who will actively seek out whale meat.
In the U. But having whale for dinner is perfectly legal in Japan, where whalers last week set out to hunt and kill the protected marine mammals despite international condemnation. Whale meat is, of course, hard to come by these days. So how much is it worth in Japan? Not as much as it used to be.