13 Nov 2008

Greenpeace welcomes Japan's whaling industry crisis

12:13 pm on 13 November 2008

Greenpeace says signs that Japan's whaling industry is in crisis are good news for the Pacific region's efforts to protect its whale stocks.

Commentators say recent whale meat embezzlement scandals and regulatory breaches within Japan's whaling fleet badly damaged the image of the industry.

Now the financial climate is reportedly bringing the industry to its knees.

Reflecting the drop in demand, Japan's whaling programme this week announced the closure of the whaling industry's flagship 'Yushin' whale meat outlet in Tokyo due to ongoing financial problems.

Greenpeace's Oceans Campaigner Karli Thomas says whaling isn't a viable or justifiable industry in this day and age and most Japanese oppose whaling on the high seas.

"Obviously there are a lot of pacific countries that rely on the income generated by whales and those are the same whales that are being hunted in the southern oceans. I mean, Japan tried last year to add humpback whales to their quota and they had to pull that off through international pressure. We're certainly focussing on keeping that pressure up on the Japanese government to makes sure that the decision is eventually taken in Tokyo to end the whaling programme."

Karli Thomas.