In DepthConservation

Japan's exit from whaling group may benefit whales

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Science  11 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6423, pp. 110-111
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6423.110

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Japan's 26 December 2018 announcement that it will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and resume commercial whaling in its own waters drew mixed reactions from conservationists. Some criticized the decision to resume commercial whaling. Others noted that Japan will now halt its controversial research whaling programs in the Antarctic and North Pacific oceans, making the move a definite plus for whales. Commercial whaling in Japan's own waters is likely to be small scale, though it may impact a unique population of minke whales found near Japan and the Koreas. But with declining demand for whale meat a number of experts predict Japan's whaling will become a niche operation for a niche market.