Yushin Whale meat shop, Asakusa, Tokyo

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Yushin whale meat shop Asakusa, Tokyo. In the photograph you can see a toy whale perched a shelf containing tinned whale meat, selling for about US$4-6. In the background left is a potential customer and child. To the right is a member of staff.

Next door is a whale meat restaurant, also called Yushin. The meat for both premises comes from the factory vessel Nisshin Maru, which carries out controversial "scientific whaling research" in the Southern Ocean every year, killing hundreds of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. After the whaling fleet arrive back in Japan, the whale meat is sold off to shops like Yushin. Critics, such as Greenpeace, say that the scientific research programme is really just commercial whaling in disguise.

Japanese government to investigate whale meat scandal »

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Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of Blather.net, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.