Friday, December 23, 2011

Sink or Swim

This is an extract from Sink or Swim: The Economics of Whaling Today, a report produced by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), in June 2009 – still totally relevant today...
"Whaling in Japan…is so heavily dependent on subsidies it is unlikely to be commercially viable under present conditions. These subsidies form part of the large losses which have been made in the whaling industry for almost all of the last 20 years. The existence of increasing levels of unsold whale meat, coupled with a decline in prices, strongly suggests that demand for whale meat is declining. Taking into account the current restrictions on international commercial trade and the risks of negative impacts, for example on tourism, of conducting an activity widely regarded as unacceptable, the study suggests that a return to full commercial whaling would be very unlikely to produce sufficient benefit for (Japan’s) economies and tax-payers to outweigh the negative repercussions.

The study not only highlights the inability of…Japan to make whaling economically sustainable, let alone profitable, but it leads to a conclusion that their business model - propping up a declining industry with large subsidies - would appear to be a particularly unwise policy in the current global financial climate. Although whaling was once highly profitable, times have changed, and tastes are different…"
This report was compiled before Japan was hit earlier this year by the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident…
yet still (financing this operation with money from their EQ/tsunami disaster relief fund!!!) they come.

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