Jeers to Japan’s government for building a new 9,300-tonne whaling ‘mothership,’ which has departed on its maiden slaughter of whales. It will be used to store and freeze the bodies of whales killed by smaller vessels from whaling company Kyōdō Senpaku.

The antiquated, ghastly idea that minke, Bryde’s and sei whales are food continues to be defended by the government as an integral part of Japanese culture. Appallingly, Japan is expanding its commercial list to include fin whales—the second-largest animal species on the planet after the blue whale.

Until Japan pulled out of the International Whaling Commission in 2019, it was criticised for exploiting a loophole in the IWC’s moratorium on commercial whale slaughter that allows bogus scientific hunts. Now the nation has resumed commercial whale killing in its own waters, making it one of only three countries who do so along with Norway and Iceland. 

It’s appalling that whale meat is part of school lunches in the city of Shimonoseki. However, in recent decades the country’s appetite for whale meat has dwindled sharply, something the city’s tone deaf mayor Shintaro Maeda is determined to change.

“Our biggest goal is to boost demand for whale meat and raise public awareness of it,” describing whaling as “part of Japanese people’s identity.”

Well Friends of Animals has a goal too, and that’s to have the public boycott tourism in Japan and until it halts commercial whale killing. The World Cetacean Society is worried because the ship is able to travel over 8000 miles and has almost double the storage capacity of its predecessor, raising concerns that Japan might be planning to resume whale killing in the Southern Ocean, where many whales migrate to feed on krill.

“Japan’s new whaling ‘mother ship’ is the mother of all mistakes,” the organization said.

We couldn’t agree more.