Burger to Go; Hold the Whale

The Times of London reports that scientists from Auckland University have identified meat from protected species of whales on sale in markets in Japan. The shocking results of their DNA research was presented by Dr. Scott Baker at the opening of the 50th International Whaling Commission meeting in Oman.

An undercover team discovered meat from the protected sei and humpback whales, which have not been legal to commercially kill since at least 1985 and 1966, respectively. In the past, Japan has insisted that any illegal whale meat is left over from frozen stockpiles obtained before whaling bans went into effect for those species. However, the genetic testing has determined that these species were killed more recently, conclusively showing that the government of Japan is either illegally whaling or allowing smuggling of illegal whale meat from pirate whalers.

Among the other species shown on sale in Japan are porpoises, fin, minke, Bryde's, pygmy sperm, Baird's beaked, and a blue/fin hybrid.

It is long past the time for the government of Japan to join the other nations of the world who obey international laws and refuse to condone illegal trading and selling of endangered and protected species.


International Marine Mammal Project
300 Broadway, suite 28    San Francisco, CA  94133
or fax 415/788-7324