Japan to continue Antarctic whaling: farm minister

Oct 04, 2011
This undated file photo, a handout from the Australian Customs Service, shows a whale (front) and another (submerged, right) being dragged on board a Japanese ship after being harpooned in Antarctic waters. Japan will go ahead with its annual whale hunt in Antarctica while boosting security to guard against possible harassment by environmental protesters, a Japanese minister said Tuesday.

Japan will go ahead with its annual whale hunt in Antarctica while boosting security to guard against possible harassment by environmental protesters, the agriculture and fisheries minister said Tuesday.

"Japan will conduct the research whaling while strengthening measures against acts of sabotage, including dispatching Fisheries Agency escort ships," said Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano.

In February, Japan for the first time cut short its Antarctic fleet mission for the 2010-2011 season by one month, when it had taken only one fifth of its planned catch, citing interference from Sea Shepherd's vessels.

The US-based Sea Shepherd, which says its tactics are non-violent but aggressive, hurled paint and stink bombs at whaling ships, snared their , and moved its own boats between harpoon ships and their prey.

Since cutting short its whaling operation, Japan has studied whether the country should continue what it calls "scientific research" for the 2011-2012 season.

The government-affiliated Institute of Cetacean Research has organised such operations since 1987, citing a loophole in a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling that allows hunts for scientific research.

Anti-whaling nations and environmentalist groups condemn the activity as a cover for commercial whaling but Japan said it is necessary to substantiate its view that there is a robust in the world.

Kano said at a news conference: "Japan intends to pursue the resumption of . For that purpose, needs to continue research whaling."

The founder and head of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Paul Watson, told AFP in July that he would continue harassing Japanese whalers if they returned to the Antarctic sanctuary.

Explore further: From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Whalers, activists clash again in Antarctic waters

Feb 18, 2010

(AP) -- A group of conservationists threw bottles of butyric acid at Japanese whalers and blasted their ship with paint balls, while the Japanese fired water cannons in their latest Antarctic Ocean clash, ...

Anti-whalers, Japanese fleet fire water cannons

Feb 09, 2010

(AP) -- Activists vowing to stop the killing of whales exchanged water-cannon fire with a Japanese whaling fleet they are tailing in the Antarctic Ocean, as sea confrontations that have led to collisions ...

Anti-whaling group says activist ban 'a strategy'

Jul 08, 2010

(AP) -- An anti-whaling group banned one of its members for carrying a weapon onboard ship as a strategy to help him avoid prison in Japan, and he's free to rejoin its protests, the group's leader said Thursday.

Japan may quit whaling commission if ban stays put

Jun 15, 2010

(AP) -- Japan is considering withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission if no progress is made toward easing an international ban on commercial whaling, its fisheries minister said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Speckled beetle key to saving crops in Ethiopia

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —An invasive weed poses a serious and frightening threat to farming families in Ethiopia, but scientists from a Virginia Tech-led program have unleashed a new weapon in the fight against hunger: ...

New tool to assess noise impact on marine mammals

1 hour ago

A new desktop tool which will allow offshore renewable energy developers to assess the likely impacts of their projects on marine mammal populations has been developed by scientists at the University of St ...

Of bees, mites, and viruses

19 hours ago

Honeybee colonies are dying at alarming rates worldwide. A variety of factors have been proposed to explain their decline, but the exact cause—and how bees can be saved—remains unclear. An article published on August ...

User comments : 0