Fishing and Aquaculture Industry in Japan
The government agency that is responsible for the management, control, and regulation of the fishing industry is the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. According to this agency, the Basic Fisheries Plan was developed in 2007 to establish long-standing, strong fisheries and fishery practices. The agency consists of four departments, which are Fisheries Policy Planning Department (works on planning policies with regard to fisheries, as well as administrative matters related to the agency), Resources Management Department (works on developing fisheries in the country), Resources Development Department (works on the scientific research part), and Fishing Port Department (works on fishery production-related activities and distribution process of aquatic animal products).
Apart from catching whales, Japan also practices dolphin hunting. The well-known one is the Taiji dolphin drive hunt, where dolphins are caught and taken for the meat purposes of dolphinariums. According to the government regulations, it is allowed to catch over 1400 dolphins for slaughter or captivity. Dolphin hunting, and the general cetacean hunting, provide income and food for local people, however, marine mammals are killed and treated cruelly and dolphin meat contains high mercury levels.
Due to its geographical location, the fishing industry and aquaculture are the major parts of the Japanese economy. However, Japan has not been complying with a few international law established obligations. Such actions are strongly opposed by other countries and groups, which makes Japan seem non-cooperative in the international law community. And even though, with regard to dolphin hunting, Japan adopted a new method of catching cetaceans, they are no more humane than the previous one, and there is a long way to go.