Sunday, 7 September 2014

Japan starts Pacific 'research' whaling

A fleet of four Japanese ships left the northern main island of Hokkaido on Sunday to start the seasonal "research" whaling hunt in Pacific coastal waters, local media said.

Japan's Fisheries Agency has said whalers planned to kill up to 51 minke whales in waters off Kushiro city through the end of October.

Japan has hunted whales under a loophole in the 1986 global moratorium that allows lethal research on the mammals, but has made no secret of the fact that their meat ends up in restaurants and fish markets.

Agency officials could not be immediately reached on Sunday.

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