Japan has resumed commercial whaling after 30 years. A small fleet of whaling ships have a permit to catch 227 minke, bryde and sei whales this year in Japanese waters and some ships have already made their first catches. Japan's last commercial hunt was in 1986 but it has continued to catch whales for "scientific purposes". Its opponents have long claimed this was a cover for commercial whaling given that the meat is subsequently sold for food. In 1982, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling, though member nations can issue "Scientific Permits" to their citizens.
has now withdrawn from the IWC so it is no longer subject to its rules. Even during the moratarium, whales continued to be killed all over the world. According to the IWC, 1,486 whales were killed
in 2016/17 by traditional, commercial and scientific whaling. Japan isn't alone
in hunting the animals; Norway and Iceland also continue whaling while hunts are also organized in the Alaska and the Faroe Islands.