TOKYO — Japanese whalers have long targeted blue whale calves simply because the adult of the species is too large, but now a new technology allows a disguised submersible to harvest the milk that the culled infant whales cannot. When the blue whale calf is brought onto the deck of the whalers’ ship, a manned submersible which “swims” much like a baby whale is immediately dispatched to join the mother. Most of the time, the mothers cannot tell the difference and allow the submariners to pump many hundreds of gallons of milk from its breasts, a rare and prized commodity worth millions of dollars on the Japanese market.
“Japanese people have always enjoyed milk from aquatic mammals when it’s been harvested from a captured female, but free range milk, especially from the blue whale, is of a quality and flavor never found before,” said Dr. Yoichi Daiichi, an expert in aquatic mammals. “This milk can be transformed into a variety of top shelf products like cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams. We are witnessing the birth of a new industry with the potential to outproduce other milks! With careful management, we may be able to increase the numbers of blue whales in the oceans and provide millions with inexpensive free range blue whale milk.”