Although the market for whale meat in Japan is collapsing, and the “scientific” whaling industry has been sliding further into debt for over a decade, the industry has secured a loan to refurbish and modernise its factory ship.
This modernisation will increase the ship’s efficiency and extend its life by at least a decade. At the same time, the dying whaling industry has secured government guarantees to cover 90% of its operating losses for the next three years. It is unlikely that efforts to expand its sales – including for school lunches, and direct sales to consumers – will be successful. But the guarantees from government, along with enough frozen whale meat to supply the whole nation for two years, mean that the financial survival of the whaling industry is largely independent of its catches of whales.
Scientific Whaling Sea Change