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Japan launches campaign to promote whale meat sales

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Japan has launched a new campaign to promote whale meat as nutritious food that enhances physical strength and reduces fatigue reported ABC News on June 2.

With about 5,000 tons of whale meat sitting in freezers around Japan, the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research has decided to launch a new campaign to promote its scientific whaling program.

Once popular in school lunches, younger generations of Japanese rarely eat whale.

The Institute hopes to revive dwindling interest by advertising whale meat as a great source of balenine, a substance believed to enhance energy and physical heath.

Japanese media are reporting the campaign also involves selling whale meat to defence forces to help boost their strength.

As part of the campaign, approximately 7,000 brochures will be distributed that feature recipes such as whale meat sashimi and whale meat cooked with Chinese chives.

Consumption of whale meat continues today in Japan, Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and by Basques in western Europe. Also the Inuit and other indigenous peoples of the United States (including the Makah people of the Pacific Northwest), Canada, Greenland; the Chukchi people of Siberia, and Bequia in the Caribbean Sea.

It is illegal to sell whale meat in the United States. Whales are protected under both the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

NOAA Law Enforcement has a hotline for anyone with information about the illegal sale of marine mammals: (800) 853-1964.

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