Japanese whalers head to Antarctic

The whalers are heading for the Antarctic
The whalers are heading for the Antarctic

Japanese whaling vessels left port Thursday for an annual hunting voyage in the Antarctic, this time to kill 333 minke whales, despite international calls to stop the practice.

The fisheries agency said a group of five ships, headed by the 8,145-tonne mother ship Nisshin Maru, will conduct the hunt until March to study whale behaviour and biology.

The voyage has been carried out since 2015 "to devise more precise calculation methods for a sustainable catch limit for Antarctic minke as well as to study the ecosystem of the Antarctic waters", the ministry said in a statement.

Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) moratorium on hunting, but exploits a loophole that allows whales to be killed in the name of scientific research.

In 2014, the United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Tokyo to end its regular hunt in the Antarctic waters, saying the project did not meet conventional scientific standards.

Japan cancelled its 2014-15 hunt, only to resume it the following year under a new programme—saying the fresh plan had genuine scientific value.

Tokyo says it is trying to prove the whale population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting for a traditional source of food.

Japanese whalers have in the past clashed on the high seas with , particularly Sea Shepherd.

The fisheries agency said it was taking measures to ensure the safety of its whalers and urged countries that provide ports to Sea Shepherd ships to cooperate.


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© 2017 AFP

Citation: Japanese whalers head to Antarctic (2017, November 9) retrieved 17 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-japanese-whalers-antarctic.html
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Nov 21, 2017
If anyone is interested please read this, you may have ingested whale without even knowing, Please read online reinventing the whale by WDC. This is the real reason Japan is killing the Minke and Sei whales including the facts the whales are in competition with the krill fisheries. Please if you want to help the whales worldwide do not purchase Krill oil supplements.

Nov 21, 2017
Another fact is the Japanese whalers and governments involved in this action have stated that they believe the minke whale is the cockroach of the sea and that if they reduce the minke population the bigger whales will flourish. This is how they are conning people that are are not informed. In the book Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation. The facts are that whalers never considered the Minke whale because it was too small. The overhunting of the larger by these greedy nations have now opened the door for them to slaughter the minke and no one is stopping them. These main countries are wealthy and have alternative means for protein sources, but the money is in pharmaceuticals and other areas.. and that is what it is all about, nothing to do with a food supply for their bellies. Fin , dolphin, Minke whale meat has been found in pet food, and also the Faroe Islands is questionable

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