Yesterday, February 5th, the International Fund for Animal Welfare released their report The Economics Of Japanese Whaling: A Collapsing Industry Burdens Taxpayers and held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan.
The report was based on research conducted during the course of a year and commissioned by the IFAW to examine the economic aspects of Japan’s whaling program.
Mr. Patrick Ramage, the IFWA Whale Programme Director, told reporters in Tokyo, “For the first time, we are able to demonstrate, based largely on the government of Japan’s own data, that this industry is in the red.” The report also showed the steep decline of whale meat demand in Japan. The conclusions of the report include: Japan’s whaling industry has relied on taxpayer subsidies for over 20 years; a majority of the Japanese are indifferent to whaling and don’t want whale meat; and that commercial whaling is not sustainable without government aid. However, they did point out that there is a whale-centered industry in Japan that is profitable and needs no government subsidies: whale watching. Japan has 30 different whale and dolphin watching operators in more than a dozen locations from Hokkaido to Okinawa.