Despite a global whaling ban, the survival of whales, dolphins and porpoises continues to be threatened by commercial trade, pollution, over-fishing and depletion of the ozone layer.
Japan is the main trading culprit. The country’s government continues to authorize hunting of more than 1,000 great whales a year – under the guise of “scientific whaling.” It also has regularly authorized the annual killing of an estimated 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales – collectively known as small cetaceans – in poorly regulated and unsustainable coastal hunts. The meat is then sold to supermarkets and restaurants across the country.
EIA’s whales, dolphins and porpoises campaign focuses on bringing this cruel, unnecessary and ecologically unsustainable trade to an end. By persuading brand name U.S. frozen foods and major retail companies to put pressure on their Japan-based parent corporations to stop stocking whale meat, we have succeeded in significantly curbing cetacean products sale and consumption. In just six years, three of Japan’s four top supermarket chains, and the country’s three largest former whaling companies, have significantly reduced their role in the industry as a direct result of EIA’s investigative, public awareness and advocacy work. These whaling companies formerly churned out at least 30 million cans of whale meat a year.
For more than two decades, EIA also has campaigned internationally – working with sympathetic governments and at the International Whaling Commission – for new policies to end Japan’s commercial whaling and protect small cetaceans and threatened whale habitat.
We work closely in our whale conservation efforts with the Humane Society International (the international division of the Humane Society of the United States).