In Japan, we are working with unlikely allies to end commercial whaling.
For decades, we wanted to help Japanese tourism companies realise that whale watching was better for their economy than whale hunting.
We worked with the International Whaling Commission to create whale sanctuaries, lower hunting quotas, and to argue in court that commercial whaling was not valid scientific research. But our message wasn’t getting through.
Then, we found a partner a continent away: an official from the Icelandic Tourism Board. When we brought her on a trip to Japan, she told stories about the benefits of advocating for whales—the new jobs that whale watching was bringing to the tourism industry and to her country. Suddenly, the Japanese tourism industry was listening.
Today, Japan is home to about 150 whale and dolphin watching operators that stretch from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
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The problems we face are urgent, complicated, and resistant to change. Real solutions demand creativity, hard work and involvement from people like you.