Ten weeks of so-called ‘research’ have come to an end in the northwestern Pacific with Japanese hunting ships slaughtering over 100 whales.
According to the Japanese Fisheries Agency, 90 sei whales and 25 Bryde’s whales have been taken since the hunts began on June 11th.
Despite an international ban on commercial whaling, Japan has continued to kill whales under an exemption for ‘research’. The government agency claims that the activity is aimed at contributing to resource management by analyzing such things as the contents of their stomachs and other organs. However, much of the meat ends up on sale to the public and, regardless of the decline in the consumption of whale meat, the country’s whaling industry continues to be propped up by subsidises from the Japanese government.
In March last year the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s whaling activities in the Antarctic violated the International Convention of the Regulation of Whaling, and ordered the hunts to stop. Tokyo halted the programme in the Antarctic but said it would continue to hunt whales in local coastal areas and the northwestern Pacific.
Despite the court decision, Japanese officials have since announced that the Antarctic hunts will start again in the future too.