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Funding Cuts May Sink Japanese Whaling Industry

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Forget the rotten butter bombs, batmobile speedboats, or international protests. What may ultimately doom the Japanese whaling industry is money.

For the longest time, Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd gang have harassed the Japanese whaling fleet with the goal of reducing their quotas and hemorrhaging their bank accounts. Under the guise of “research”, the whaling industry has enjoyed massive government subsidies to help make up for a declining market. The last few years, however, have not been kind — especially with the SS on their tails. Worse for the wear, the Japanese whaling industry needed $1.2 million in taxpayer money to break even during the 2008-2009 season. Total whaling subsidies have amounted to $164 million since 1998.

According to Greenpeace, the Japanese government is currently looking to tackle bureaucratic waste through cost cutting and elimination of blood-sucking programs. Directly in their sights is the Japanese Overseas Fisheries Co-operation Fund, which supports the whaling fleet’s manager. If the OFCF’s loans went belly up, the manager, the Institute of Cetacean Research, would be in financial trouble.

We’re tuning up the world’s smallest violin in anticipation. Stay tuned.

via The Age

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