Japan to continue Antarctic whaling: farm minister

October 4, 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: Whalers, activists clash again in Antarctic waters

Related Stories

Whalers, activists clash again in Antarctic waters

February 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, both sides said ...

Anti-whalers, Japanese fleet fire water cannons

February 9, 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 and a sunken vessel ...

Anti-whaling group says activist ban 'a strategy'

July 8, 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: Whaling follows international law

January 17, 2006

Japanese government officials say their nation's whaling fleet is operating only for research purposes, in accordance with international rules.

Japan may quit whaling commission if ban stays put

June 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

Atlas of the RNA universe takes shape

December 7, 2016

As the floor plan of the living world, DNA guides the composition of animals ranging from unicellular organisms to humans. DNA not only helps shepherd every organism from birth through death, it also plays an essential role ...

Gene "bookmarking" regulates the fate of stem cells

December 7, 2016

A protein that stays attached on chromosomes during cell division plays a critical role in determining the type of cell that stem cells can become. The discovery, made by EPFL scientists, has significant implications for ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.