Japan will resume commercial whaling. Get the facts.
Japan is pulling out of the International Whaling Commission. Here's how it works and what it means.
Japan has decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume whaling in its coastal waters, a government spokesman confirmed. The commission, with 89 member governments, was established in 1946 to conserve whales and manage whaling around the world. It banned commercial whaling in 1986.
Although Japan is the main market for whale meat, consumption there is limited—about an ounce per person per year, or about 4,000 to 5,000 tons, according to a report by the Animal Welfare Institute, a nonprofit that seeks to alleviate animal suffering, and the Environmental Investigation Agency, which tracks international wildlife crime.
According to Astrid Fuchs, whaling program manager for the U.K.-based nonprofit Whale and Dolphin Conservation, who spoke to National Geographic before the