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However, whaling remained entwined with ritual and unlike their contemporary European counterparts the early Japanese coastal whalers considered whales a valuable resource and did not over-exploit local stocks.

Domestically, Japanese writers have tried to call attention to historical whale declines due to whaling practices by other nations over hundreds of years, some of which continue today, and assert that motives and objectives of Japanese whaling customs differ from other nations.

Supporters of the Japanese whaling tradition claim that the experience is both humble and emotional, and all parts of a whale are used, unlike westerners of the past who hunted only for whale oil.

In addition, Japan has strictly controlled catch quotas, and whalers have never hunted juveniles or cow/calf pairs due to their respect for whales.

There harpooners would approach in four boats of their own.

The nets made escape more difficult and, in its struggle to escape, the whale got tired sooner.

On January 15, 2017, a helicopter in the Australian Whale Sanctuary photographed the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru with a freshly-killed minke whale on its deck.

As early as the Edo period, Japanese writers may have tried to call attention to overkill by American and Norwegian whalers, whose hunting practices led to depletion of whale populations, and the tragedy called Semi-nagare, an incident in which over 100 Taiji whalers were lost in the ill-timed pursuit of the only two whales they had seen in December 1878.Japan maintains that annual whaling is sustainable and necessary for scientific study and management of whale stocks, though the Antarctic minke whale populations have declined since the beginning of the JARPA program Archeological evidence in the form of whale remains discovered in burial mounds suggests that whales have been consumed in Japan since the Jōmon period (between c. Without the means to engage in active whaling, consumption at that time primarily stemmed from stranded whales.Techniques were developed in the 17th century in Taiji, Wakayama.Oka traveled the world gathering information about whaling practices including to Norway for harpoons, cannons and expertise.He also established the first modern whaling company in Japan in 1899, Nihon Enyo Gyogyo K. which took its first whale on February 4, 1900, with a Norwegian gunner, Morten Pedersen.

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