Number of whales killed for scientific purposes by Japan from 1999 to 2016

Loading statistic...
Number of whales killed

© Statista 2017

Download Settings Share
Chart type
Share on Social Media
HTML code to embed chart as PNG (FAQ)
Description Source More information
The statistic shows the number of whales killed for scientific purposes by Japan from 1999 to 2016. In 2015/16, 520 whales were killed for scientific purposes.
Whaling in Japan – additional information

Whaling has been an important part in Japanese history. Hunting these large mammals has become a practice in Japan since early times. In recent years, archeologists found evidence of hand thrown harpoons dating back to the 12th century. Throughout the ages, whales have been killed for their meat and oil products. Consumption of whale meat is an old Japanese tradition that was established during the Second World War, when whale meat became a common nation-wide food source for Japanese citizens. Lamp oil, candles, cosmetics and soaps, such as fertilizer are products made from various bits of a whale’s body. Over the last centuries, whale products have been largely replaced and can now be made from alternative resources. For example, lamp oil can be created from petroleum.

Japanese whaling has been a topic of conflict among pro- and anti-whaling groups and organizations for many years. The fact that unregulated whaling has taken a significant toll among several whale populations has prompted many campaigns of various groups such as Sea-Shepherd and Greenpeace to protest strongly against whaling.

Although the global whaling era ended decades ago, Japan, Norway and Iceland are still actively involved in whale hunting. However, Japan maintains that their annual whale hunting is sustainable and necessary for scientific purposes, rather than for commercial meat selling. Nowadays, the Japanese report practicing whaling only for the research purposes and to learn about whale population health and behaviors. Nevertheless, there were almost 900 whales killed in 2014 that were considered catches under objection.
Show more
Release date
June 2017
Survey time period

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year

Statistics on "Recreational fishing in the U.S."

  • Fishing participation
The most important statistics
  • Fishing equipment and licenses
The most important statistics
  • Fishing trips
The most important statistics

Statista for Your Company: The Research and Analysis Tool

  • Product Film
  • Statistics
  • Downloads

Our Premium Statistics - facts for your business

Currently, Statista provides more than 1 million statistics.
93 percent (all Premium content) are exclusively accessible via our professional accounts.

Unlimited access

As a Statista Premium customer, you receive unlimited access to all statistics at all times. Including downloads of data in the most common formats (XLS, PDF & PNG). Create relevant and significant statistics in no time.

You are in good company

Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages

Our Business Solutions: Save Time and Money



per year
Your advantages
  • Full access to all our statistics
  • Download as XLS, PDF & PNG
  • Relevant data: complete source information
All functions of our platform illustrated face-to-face
  • Learn how Statista supports your company
  • Extensive tour across the whole portal
  • Personal guidance by our support team
The knowledge database for your company
  • All functions of the Premium Account
  • Access to dossiers, forecasts and studies
  • Access to our international database
  • Publishing rights and other exclusive functions