It seems that the Japanese Government and the Institute of Cetacean Research is getting desperate in its attempts to prove that their so-called 'scientific whaling' is more than an ongoing exercise in self-preservation. Having suffered campaigns to end sales of whale meat on online stores by intermediaries the Government is going digital in order to make some money itself.
Reports out of Japan indicate that Japan's Fishery Agency has announced that starting next year, individuals can
purchase meat by mail order and it will also be sold directly to
restaurants. Previously, sales were made only to wholesale distributors.
This raises a significant cause for concern as Japan has historically been unable to regulate illegal sales of whale meat even when it controls supplies.
It seems that by allowing for online sales Japan is going to significantly increase the risk of abuse by unscrupulous dealers. I for one think the risk of smuggling of whale meat products will also increase as it will become more difficult to track who is purchasing whale meat over the internet.
Lets see how many examples of whale meat trafficking we see reported in the coming months and years?
Lets also see what other countries meeting at the CITES (Convention in Trade in Endangered Species) meeting of parties in the new year think about it?