After a 30-year break from commercial whaling following their controversial withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission, Japan is set to resume next month and will continue until autumn.
A formal ceremony on the continuation of whaling in the country is set on July 1, which will be followed by five vessels that will set off from Abashiro port in Kushiro, Hokkaido in northern Japan. The vessels are reportedly owned by six whaling operators, “who will split up to hunt for whales in a number of different areas within Japan’s exclusive economic zone but will not venture into the Antarctic,” according to the Telegraph.
Next month, Japan plans to target the Giant Beaked Berardius whales throughout summer, along with minke whales found in the northern waters which could take place until October.
Japan received several criticism last December after announcing its plans to leave IWC, as they failed to live up to their original mandate of keeping the “orderly development” of the whaling industry. Though they also stopped commercial whaling, they continued whaling missions for their “scientific research.”
The county has been campaigning to restart commercial whaling for years, stating that most whale species are not considered endangered and claiming that eating whale is part of their culture.
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