Tokyo, Japan (4E) – The International Fund for Animal Welfare said that the Japanese whaling industry is struggling with most consumers turning away from whale meat.
The report of the wildlife conservation group also said that Japan has been propping up its whaling industry with nearly $400 million in tax money.
In 2011, the industry shipped just 5,000 tons, compared with 233,000 tons at the peak in 1962, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Demand this year is low with planned shipments of only 2,400 tons, the report stated.
The report also noted that the industry survives on subsidies,
A world moratorium on commercial whaling took effect in 1986, but Japan has used a loophole saying that the whale hunt is for research.
The report said that Japan’s whaling program costs taxpayers $10 million a year.
The group added that the money from the sale of whale meat is not even enough to run and maintain the fleet that hunts the mammals in the Southern Ocean.
Japan’s whaling fleet left port in December aiming to catch around 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean, where they are being pursued by militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd.