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Fishermen Urged Not to Eat Whale Meat

Date Posted: 2000-04-29

The Okinawa G8 Summit Promotion Committee has urged Nago Fishermen’s Association to to stop eating whale or porpoise meat during the months leading to the summit.

The committee is worried that the habit of eating the meat of the sea mammals, which Nago is famous for, will give the city a bad image in the eyes of foreign media, expected to visit the city prior and during the summit.

However, Nago Mayor Tateo Kishimoto defended the practice and said “Eating whale and porpoise meat is a part of our culture.” Nago Fishermen’s Association Chairman Keizo Miyagi was more positive towards the idea. He promised that members of the association would stop taking the animals during the month of July. But he insisted that they should be allowed to extend the season by one month in exchange.

Nago Fishermen’s Association currently has six boats engaged in coastal whaling, taking some 120 animals annually. Most of the catch is sold in the markets of mainland Japan, although porpoise meat can be found on the menus of several restaurants in Nago.

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