Well, the Japanese whaling fleet has left port to go slaughter some whales. This is bad policy for several reasons.
Killing endangered animals is always a bad idea, and the Japanese don’t even do it humanely. This is bloody slaughter for the sake of bloody slaughter, and it’s going to harm large species that are easily tipped over the brink into extinction.
It’s basically done as a subsidy for the whalers. This is not really a profitable business. I get irritated by the local farmers who are raising corn for ethanol, an exercise in inefficiency and waste that gets them government money…but getting money for killing large rare animals is more vividly worse.
The biggest reason I despise Japanese whaling is a bit selfish and narrow, I have to confess. It’s because of this:
Japan kills more than 1000 whales a year in the Antarctic and also the Pacific Ocean using a loophole in an international moratorium that allows catching whales for research.
That is such a lie. It demeans science. Japan is not throwing money into their whaling fleet as a research tool; I know what marine biological research looks like, and it rarely involves harpoons, flensing knives, and a cannery. Give university marine mammalogists the money to equip boats to pursue whales, and they won’t look like this:
Note the big “RESEARCH” stenciled across the hull. It’s a lie. It ought to say “BUTCHERY”. The research done by whalers is miniscule, and could be better done without the associated killing.