Siempre se saca algo positivo de cualquier desastre.
Quake-triggered tsunami destroys major Japanese coastal whaling base
AYUKAWA, Japan, March 15, Kyodo
A major Japanese coastal whaling base in Miyagi Prefecture has been virtually destroyed after powerful tsunami triggered by last Friday’s massive earthquake in northeastern Japan washed away a whale-processing facility.
In the Ayukawa district on the southern tip of the Oshika Peninsula in the northeastern prefecture’s city of Ishinomaki, tsunami more than 10 meters high traveled around 600 meters inland and swallowed about 80 percent of the approximately 700 houses in the area.
Some 400 of about 1,400 residents in the area remain unaccounted for as of Tuesday, local authorities said.
Ayukawa had prospered as a whaling base, attracting many fishing firms after a whaling company from Yamaguchi Prefecture opened an office there in 1906.
But the number of whaling vessels has declined to only two small ships from 13 in the first half of the 1930s as whaling quotas have declined substantially under International Whaling Commission regulations.
The two existing vessels, which have been used to catch beaked whales in coastal waters, are scheduled to participate in Japan’s research whaling from April.
”We cannot say (whether the plan can be implemented) as we have not been able to confirm the safety of some people involved (with the vessels),” said Chikao Kimura, secretary general of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association.
Yoshiya Endo, a 72-year-old former whaling vessel stoker, said, ”Whaling is impossible. Reviving it may take 20 to 30 years.”
But a person involved in whaling said the whaling culture should be preserved. ”As long as there are people who will carry on whaling even in the absence of vessels or facilities, whaling could be revived eventually.”