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09/05/24 | 3:41 pm

Japan to start hunting fin whales, potentially scaling up commercial whaling

Japan will add fin whale to its commercial whaling species list, the government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Thursday (May 9).

The country’s Fisheries Agency posted a draft of the revision to its aquatic resource control policies for public consultation earlier this week, which would allow commercial catching of fin whales.

Speaking in his regular news briefing, the Japanese government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi said it is important to inherit traditional food culture in Japan, when asked about extending its allowable catch to include the fin whale species.

Japan caught a total of 294 minke whales, Bryde’s whales and sei whales in 2023, according to the Fisheries Agency. It currently limits commercial whaling to these three relatively small species.

In 2019, Japan resumed commercial whaling in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zones after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC).


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