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Last Updated: Thursday June 23 2005 16:39 GMT

Whale burgers go on sale in Japan

A restaurant in Japan has added a rather unusual snack to its menu - it's selling whale burgers.

The burgers are made from minke whale and they're served in a bun at the Lucky Pierrot fast food joint.

The restaurant's manager, Miku Oh, said they were using up old whale stocks to make the burgers, so no new whales would be killed to make them.

"We get a lot of tourists here and even children who had never eaten it before said it was good," Mr Oh said.

This comes as Japan has been criticised for wanting to expand its whaling programme. But the International Whaling Commission ruled this week that Japan should cut back its whaling, not do more of it.

Whale meat used to be very common in Japan - it was part of school dinners there before a restriction on whaling was made in 1986.

"The taste and texture are somewhere between beef and fish," Mr Oh said. "Customers are looking forward to trying it."

The whale burgers cost 380 yen (1.92.)

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