Japan to start hunting fin whales

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Japan is to start hunting fin whales, in a move certain to face strong opposition from environmentalists.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi on Thursday said the species would be added to its commercial whaling list after the country’s Fisheries Agency this week sought public comment on a draft revision of its policies.

“Whales are an important food resource, and like other marine living resources, they should be used sustainably based on scientific evidence. I believe it is important to inherit traditional food culture in Japan.”

Over the last five years, Japan has been trying to expand its whaling business.

It resumed commercial hunting in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zones in 2019, after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission.

Whale consumption in Japan hit its peak in the early 1960s but did not become widespread as other meats became more accessible.

Commercial whaling in Japan is currently limited to three minor species: Minke whales, Bryde whales and Sei whales.