The five Japanese fishing companies that owned the nationâs whaling fleet recently announced that theyâre getting out of the whaling business. Nissui, Japanâs second largest marine products company and four other firms jointly owned the whaling company Kyodo Senpaku. This business operated the six-ship whaling fleet on behalf of the Institute of Cetacean Research under the authority of the Japanese government. In a press release issued by Kyodo Senpaku, all five firms announced they will donate their shareholdings to public organizations, including the government-backed research institute. The Japanese government, meanwhile, promised to continue its controversial annual whale hunt. They also say, whale meat carries great cultural significance among the nationâs people.