In 2009 Japan planned to hunt 1,280 whales. Most of those were non-endangered minke whales. It would be great if Japan stopped allowing whaling, but it’s important to remember that they are not the only country doing it. In the same year, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland planned to kill 1,478 whales, a 20 percent increase from 2008.
The international Whaling Commission recently proposed a plan that would allow legal commercial whaling again, but under very strict limits. Japan’s self-imposed quota of 935 non-endangered minke whales will be lowered to 400 in the next five years and then to 200 for the five years after that. Other countries would reduce their numbers also. Critics say the plan will lead to a return of large-scale commercial whaling. Proponents of the plan argue that it’s better to have controlled legal whaling with gradually lowered quotas than uncontrolled illegal whaling.
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