Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Japan kills 30 minke whales in ‘research’ campaign following intl court ban

Published time: June 14, 2014 18:22 
Edited time: June 16, 2014 11:43

Japan has caught and killed 30 minke whales in the country’s annual northwest Pacific “research” whaling campaign, officials said on Friday. The trip is the first since an international court banned such activities earlier this year.

The minke whales were caught off Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture as part of the country's annual northwestern Pacific hunt – which takes place form April to June – according to Japan's Fisheries Agency. A second group of whalers is still at work. 

In March, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found that Japan’s Southern Ocean efforts in the Antarctic whale hunt were illegal under international law. It was ruled that no further permits should be issued under Japan’s scientific whaling program, saying that the campaign produced little actual research. The ruling also urged Japan to re-examine the program. 

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in April that it would submit a new plan for Antarctic whaling to the International Whaling Commission in 2015 for the purpose of resuming whaling in the region. 

Japan has been conducting whaling research in three areas – the Antarctic Ocean, off the coast of the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and along the coast of the northwestern Pacific. The latter two are not as widely known as the Antarctic hunt and were not specifically mentioned in the court ruling. 

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