Friday 25 March 2016

Japan confirms whales killed during 'scientific' expedition to Antarctica

Four ships in the region also capture 333 minke whales, including pregnant females
Australian Associated Press

Thursday 24 March 2016 07.57 GMTLast modified on Thursday 24 March 201607.59 GMT

Japan has confirmed whales were killed on its most recent “scientific” expedition in the Antarctic region.

Four survey ships from Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research were in the Antarctic region over a period of 115 days from 1 December last year.

The institute’s report said 333 minke whales were captured, including pregnant females.

The Australian government has described Japan’s decision to resume whaling over the southern hemisphere summer as “deeply disappointing” and says it has raised concerns at the highest level of the Japanese government.

It had said it would consider sending a customs patrol vessel to the Southern Ocean as well as exploring options for legal action.

But conservation group Sea Shepherd said in February that the Japanese fleet had faced little or no scrutiny over the summer and Australia and New Zealand seemed unwilling to send a ship to intercept them.

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