(First Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2008)
Japan’s whaling industry is in trouble again — this time it’s financial.
Whale meat prices fell in Japan while the cost of whaling operations in the Antarctic rose.
The Institute of Cetacean Research, the body behind Japan’s whaling operations, is struggling to repay interest-free loans from the Japanese Government, according to a newspaper report.
Apparently, Japan has been catching so many whales that this has increased supplies of whale meat to the market by thirty per cent. This caused a twenty per cent fall in price.
At the same time the cost of whaling increased by ten per cent as the whaling fleet was expanded from five ships to six.
And last year there was a fire onboard one of the ships. More cost.
The Ashahi Shimbun reports: “Japan’s research whaling has long been criticized from around the world as commercial whaling in disguise. Now, research whaling faces a domestic blow–stagnant sales of whale meat. A series of accidents involving whaling ships last year and disruptive protests from overseas activists have also hurt the finances of a government-affiliated foundation in charge of research whaling. “
In the 2006 financial year, the institute posted a 700 million yen (around $6.5 million USD) loss. Kyodo Senpaku, the company which processes and sell the whale meat, made a profit of about $46,000 USD.