According to Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s biggest newspapers, there will be a 20 per cent reduction in the number of whales targeted in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary hunt this year – the first reduction since 1987.
The paper reported that lack of demand for whale meat (‘Yushin,’ the flagship whale meat shop and restaurant in Tokyo, plans to close in 2010 due to ongoing financial problems) and continued opposition from Europe and Australia will lead to the reduction in the minke whale quota from 945 to 750.
The quota of 50 endangered fin whales remains unchanged. “We are seeing the beginning of the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” said Sara Holden, of the Greenpeace International Whales Campaign. “We congratulate the Japanese government for taking this first step, but they must go further and we will not stop (our protests) until the quota is zero.”