Whaling May Be Over in Devasted Ayukawa, Japan

GreenTracker| We admit to looking almost immediately at Taiji, Japan’s location in relation to the devastating earthquake and tsunami. It appeared that the dolphin slaughter would continue in this whaling town — although the global protests have had impact on Taiji, one of four towns in Japan that exist on whaling and hunting dolphins.

The NYTimes writes that Ayukawa is devastated by the disaster. Ayukawa Whaling is destroyed, causing the town to lose its soul.

Japan’s tsunami seems to have succeeded — where years of boycotts, protests and high-seas chases by Western environmentalists had failed — in knocking out a pillar of the nation’s whaling industry. Ayukawahama was one of only four communities in Japan that defiantly carried on whaling and eating whales as a part of the local culture, even as the rest of the nation lost interest in whale meat.

This statement isn’t entirely acccurate, given Sea Shepherd’s recent success in causing an abrupt and premature ending to this year’s whale hunting.

Ayukawa Whaling’s chairman, Minoru Ito says he will rebuild. His three ships are safe but grounded onshore miles away with ‘remarkably little damage’.  Mr Ito says he will need government help to relaunch his whaling operation.

The people of Ayukawa are so hungry, they would do anything for some whale meat.

Seiko Taira said that food shortages here were particularly acute because the tsunami washed out roads, cutting off Ayukawahama for several days. She said she had neglected to store her own food, and was reduced to feeding her four children and one grandchild a single cup of instant ramen noodles and a few pieces of bread per day.

Ms Taira believes that whaling is finished in Ayukawa. The old people are tired, fighting with Sea Shepherd and now this disaster.

One can’t read this story without thinking of Moby Dick and the battle for good and evil that whaling has represented for decades, including in America who rose to power by killing whales.

Major articles about dophin hunting, whaling, fishing.