5-speed listening (Commercial Whaling - Level 4)

Japan begins commercial whaling after 30 years






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Japan restarted commercial whaling after three decades. Commercial whaling was banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission. Japan has promised its whalers will stay within 320 kilometers from its coast. It set a yearly quota for killing whales. This week, whalers caught two minke whales. The whale meat was sold in Tokyo for record prices. Restaurant owners bought the meat at prices of up to $140 per kilo.

Japan has done whaling for centuries. A whale chef believes commercial whaling is important. He said: "A country that does not preserve its food culture has no future." He said whale meat was healthy. It is five times lower in calories than beef and 10 times lower in cholesterol. It is also full of iron. Japan's return to whaling has angered people worldwide. The Humane Society said: "This is a sad day for whale protection globally."

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