"The new proposal frankly is a slap in the face of the International Community," Fuchs told The Dodo. "What we now need is a decisive and sharp diplomatic response by the whale friendly nations."
Despite the claims to "research," Clapham notes that the whale meat is sold commercially in Japan - in fact, its sale is legal under the IWC's scientific whaling provision, the same loophole that allows Japan to whale for research in the first place.
Humane Society International Vice President Kitty Block agreed, pointing out that the new campaign is still at odds with the ICJ court ruling handed down in March.
"Despite the ICJ decision condemning the nation's so-called scientific program, Japan is still trying to explain the inexplicable and defend the indefensible," she said. "The hunt is for commercial purposes - not science."