After the commercial whaling was reintroduced followed by decades-long hiatus, Japanese fishermen have brought back their first whale in 31 years.
Five vessels from whaling communities left for the task with their horns blaring and grey tarps thrown and by Monday afternoon, the first whale in 31 years was caught and transported back to the shore.
The hunt was a result of Japan’s move to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission. This move has been slammed by anti-whaling countries as well as nature activists but it was welcomed with open arms by the whaling communities.
Pictures taken of the first whale captured and transported back to the port of Kushiro.
Yoshifumi Kai, head of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association, said ‘Today is the best day.’
The whalers brought back the 8.3-metre (27-feet) long giant ashore.
‘We were able to catch a good whale. It’s going to be delicious.’
‘My heart is overflowing with happiness, and I’m deeply moved,’ said Yoshifumi Kai.
‘This is a small industry, but I am proud of hunting whales. People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my home town.’
The country’s Fisheries Agency clarified on Monday that there is a cap on a total catch for the year and it is set on 227 whales.
23-year-old Hideki Abe, a whaler from the Miyagi region, said ‘I’m a bit nervous but happy that we can start whaling.’
‘I don’t think young people know how to cook and eat whale meat any more. I want more people try to taste it at least once.’
Shigeto Hase, the head of Japan’s fisheries agency, said ‘The resumption of commercial whaling has been an ardent wish for whalers across the country.’
Source – Daily Mail