We had a strange visitor to Japan yesterday, the Alma, a refrigerated cargo vessel which has sailed all the way from Iceland carrying 2,000 tons of fin whale meat, valued at over 13 million US dollars. It sailed around the tip of Africa, cut out a planned refueling stop in Durban after over 20,000 South Africans asked their government to refuse to allow whale meat to enter the country, and then quickly refueled in Mauritius without entering port.
Its arrival here has almost doubled the stockpile of unsold whale meat sitting in freezers around Japan.
Iceland hunts these whales only for export to Japan. No one in Iceland eats them. But fewer and fewer people in Japan eat whale either. A poll by the respected Asahi newspaper last month found that just 4 percent of respondents occasionally ea... Read more >