Whale Poaching Brings Arrests in South Korea

The first arrests in a South Korean whale poaching case were made yesterday. Arrests of a 47-year-old skipper and two crew members occurred as a result of the January police raid that confiscated more than 50 tons of illegal minke whale meat. These same individuals were charged with poaching whales at least three times between May and August last year. Ironically, the South Korean newspaper Chosun, reports the police crackdown as the cause for escalating whale meat prices. With over 40 restaurants serving whale meat in Ulsan, they account for over 80% of South Korean whale meat consumption. Legally, South Korean fishermen can only keep and sell whale if it is caught as bycatch. However with the high price of whale meat, many believe that fishermen are actually targeting these species, rather than accidentally catching them in their nets.  Either way, something needs to be done to reduce bycatch or eliminate poaching. The police are on the right track to eliminating poaching, nice work!

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