27 Mar '11, 3am

The March 11 tsunami has possibly 'wiped out' the whaling industry in the Japanese town of Ayukawa

AYUKAWA (Japan) - THE Japanese whaling town of Ayukawa has survived the wrath of environmental groups for decades, but had no defence against a giant tsunami that wiped out the industry here, possibly for ever. One of only four communities in Japan that have continued to hunt and eat whales in defiance of international opposition, the town was already down to a single operating company, Ayukawa Whaling. The March 11 tsunami that slammed into Japan's north-east coast took most of Ayukawa with it, destroying 80 per cent of houses and leaving 400 of its 1,400 residents unaccounted for. The wave shattered Ayukawa Whaling's storage facility and carried its fleet of three whaling ships hundreds of metres inland where they now lie grounded and impotent. 'This is the biggest ever crisis for us,' said company chairman Minoru Ito. Mr Ito, 74, survived the disaster, along with all of...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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