Japanese government trying to unload surplus whale meat

Japan’s “research” whaling has led to a market glutted with whale meat. Burdened by 2,700 tons of whale heading for freezer burn, the Japanese government has launched a campaign to overcome an increasingly common sentiment: “To put it simply,” says one Japanese diner, “whale meat tastes horrible.” The government has issued a pamphlet called — what else? — Scrumptious Whale, and is distributing the blubbery meat to schools, homes for the elderly, and pet food stores. Greens are concerned that feeding whale meatballs to students will “create a new constituency that will support whaling in the future,” says Sue Lieberman of WWF. Undeterred, or just oblivious, Japan plans to kill some 40 percent more minke whales in 2006 than it did last year. Commercial whaling is illegal internationally, but whaling for research, which Japan claims to do, has been OK’d by the International Whaling Commission.