Japan Kills Large Numbers of Pregnant Whales in Antarctic Hunt

Hunting whales is part of the Japanese culture that comes under heavy criticism from environmentalists. Due to “disruptions by anti-whaling activists,” Japanese whale hunters killed fewer whales during their 2008-2009 Antarctic hunting season. 679 minke whales were killed short of the target of 850. Nearly one-third of those whales were pregnant.

Whale meat sold in Japan

Whale meat sold in Japan / Image by duchamp

The Humane Society International is denouncing the Japanese government for killing pregnant and lactating female whales.

Of 679 whales reported to have been killed during the 2008-2009 whale hunt in Antarctica, 304 were female. Four of the female whales were lactating, and 192 were pregnant at the time of death. The Japanese government’s “Cruise Report” gives gruesome details on the fetuses killed. The four lactating females killed would each have had a dependent calf who would inevitably have starved to death.

In 1986, Japan agreed to an international moratorium on whaling, but the country continues to hunt whales under the guise of scientific research. Any whale meat not used for research can be sold for human consumption. The BBC explains:

Whale meat not used for study is sold for consumption in Japan – which critics say is the real reason for the hunt. The meat can be found in supermarkets and restaurants across the country…Generations of children have been given whale meat for their school lunches, our correspondent says. Consumption of whale meat is now low, but attempts have been made to increase its popularity by marketing whale curry and whale burgers, he adds.

At the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Portugual, IWC members agreed last week “to extend negotiations over the disputed hunting of the marine mammals for a year, avoiding a disastrous split in the group.” At stake is whether or not to allow Japan to reinstate commercial whaling in exchange for less “scientific whaling in the Antarctic.” Delegates fear that if an agreement is not reached by 2010, the IWC may dissolve.

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Author: Jennifer Lance

  1. Thanks for this article. It is sad and infuriating to know that Japan still kills whales. I need to look for them in stores the next time I am in Tokyo and see what the locals reaction is to the meat. Thanks for shedding light on this.

  2. Well, it’s so easy to criticize others’ customs. cultures etc. I also feel so sad to see you guys eating baby cows and sheep in the forms of veal and lamb while you are weeping over deaths of baby whales. Criminals usually won’t see themselves as criminals, will they?

  3. Eat what you want! The world is depleted mostly by notions of survival born in the U.S.A. SUV,s beef at every meal, Pork every other, and little else! Look at those fat asses waddle to their air-conditioned cars – they do not realize, They are unsustainable! not the crap they consume! Japan needs to have unsustainable people? Their problem! Europeans use small Eco-Diesels, and soon, with plug-ins! Some folks amongst us live sustainable lives, look for small asses, walking mostly or sticking out of gardens! The days of the “unsustainables” among us are numbered with the crash of the dollar, and the new awareness of the shysters and their tri8cks in the world! The end is near, and gets nearer every mouthful the slothful take! They are their own self-fulfilling prophesy! We the “Sustainable” and self-sufficient are better off without them, and they will die, sooner than you think, pushed to the brink by the new economic force in the world, a very hungry and anxious Asia, competing on world markets for every bite, glassful, and oil can full with superior IQ’s and educated, this nest generation from Asian countries will change, astound and eat the modern world as we know it! Japan, locked financially to the rapidly dying U.S.A. will either defect to Asian interests and the “Yuan” or die with America, and this is not going to take more than a decade! hang onto your hats, its gonna be one hell of a ride to the bottom! Whales not-with -standing!

  4. Yes, eating veal and lamb can seem cruel in others eyes, but there is one fact that eveyone is forgetting WHALES ARE ENDANGERED!!!!!!!!! and if some species aren’t they are on there way to being so, the southern ocean sanctuary was set up so that the whales could recover in population, not to have japan come and kill 1000’s of whales each year for scientifc research in which they have not got any substantial evidence in the 22 years they have been at it. How many more whales need to be killed in the name of science. And there is a difference with the way in which they kill cows, sheep and what not to whales, cows and sheep are first stunned so they do not feel anything, this is considered humane. The way whales are killed is by shooting out a harpoon that then detonates inside the whale, even then this does not kill them, it take sover an hour of suffering before they die. this is inhumane and this is the clear difference and that is why you can not compare killing whales and farmstock.

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