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Japan seeks to resume Antarctic whaling next year


TOKYO (AP) - Japan is seeking international support for its plans to hunt minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean next year by scaling down the whaling research program the U.N. top court rejected earlier this year, fisheries officials said Wednesday.

Whaling for research purposes is exempt from the 1986 international ban on commercial whaling, and Japan has conducted hunts in the Atlantic and Pacific on that basis. But in March, the International Court of Justice ruled the Antarctic program wasn't scientific as Japan had claimed and must stop.

Japan's Fisheries Agency is working on a revised program to be submitted to the International Whaling Commission's scientific committee around November. The agency will announce its intention and basic plan at the Sept. 15-18 IWC meeting in Slovenia and will continue to finalize catch targets and other details over the next few weeks.

The new program will address the problems cited by the court, an agency official said on condition of anonymity, citing department rules. The court said Japan's Antarctic program produced little actual research and failed to explain why it needed to kill so many whales for the study.

Approval from the IWC's scientific committee isn't mandatory, but any attempt by Japan to resume whaling would be likely to face intense scrutiny over whether it complies with the court ruling.

Japan also plans to no longer hunt fin and humpback whales, after hardly catching any of those two species in the past nine years.

After steadily fulfilling its Antarctic catch target of 440 for 17 years, Japan more than doubled it to 935 minke whales in 2005. It came close to the target only the following year and has fallen since, mainly because the demand for whale meat has declined significantly at home.

The government also has had to keep spending tax money to sustain whaling operators. Violent protests by anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd also contributed to the declining catch.

During the 2013-14 season, Japan caught 251 minke whales in the Antarctic, or just a quarter of its target, and 224 others in the northern Pacific program, which isn't as controversial. Japan also hunts more than 160 whales along its coast, outside of the IWC oversight.

Japan will go to the Antarctic later this year, but only for nonlethal research, the official said.

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Real America September 03 2014 at 3:49 PM

I think we should donate an aircraft carrier to the sea shepherds that would stop those japs...

Flag Reply +34 rate up
9 replies
quincy_maxwell September 03 2014 at 3:25 PM

Don't let them do this. How many species have gone extinct of nearly extinct because of man? I thought the Japanese were smarter than this. I guess I was wrong.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
4 replies
Richard September 03 2014 at 3:39 PM

A Whaling BAN is a Whaling BAN Period.

Flag Reply +25 rate up
3 replies
pskydancer September 03 2014 at 3:40 PM

We need to continue to support the Sea Shepard movement! Our government needs to support this movement instead of supporting some of these pathetic countries that we do....

Flag Reply +20 rate up
2 replies
rymarchand pskydancer September 03 2014 at 3:52 PM

Like Japan.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
scubaeqhp pskydancer September 03 2014 at 8:21 PM

The Sea Shepard project need to be sunk. They are criminals which is why their leader is on the run from the police.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
dsvstheworld scubaeqhp September 03 2014 at 8:28 PM

If you did your research you'd see his charges are politically motivated. I'm a full time police officer and a member of Sea Shepherd. I've been on a campaign and seen what these brutal fishermen do in Taiji Japan.

Flag +4 rate up
debij scubaeqhp September 03 2014 at 9:44 PM

dsvstheworld: judging by the different posts by scubaeqhp, I'd say that he doesn't have any knowledge about marine ecology, and is probably a Japanese citizen - perhaps a whaler himself.

Flag +1 rate up
nemerow September 03 2014 at 3:54 PM

Do the Japanese have no morals.
Do they not know that killing whales is selfish. They are a world heritage, not their property. There is no need for it.
If they continue they are pigs.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
3 replies
houcasey September 03 2014 at 4:11 PM

Research my ass.
This should not be allowed.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
1 reply
spacegator86 houcasey September 03 2014 at 8:50 PM

Odd request. I hope for your sake that they don't comply.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Brian Workman September 03 2014 at 4:07 PM

This is the new millennium and time to STOP whaling all together!!

Flag Reply +12 rate up
buddwhyzr September 03 2014 at 4:02 PM

Oh for Christ sake Japan.........seriously? Leave the friggin whales alone and stick to sushi.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
revivalman buddwhyzr September 03 2014 at 5:51 PM

But Tuna - prime sushi stock - in the western and central parts of the Pacific Ocean are so low that fishing operations should be suspended to help them recover. And, stocks of other fish species in the ocean are being dangerously depleted. This comes from the head of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Its a warning that is being ignored by the Japanese fishing industry.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
ram4131 revivalman September 03 2014 at 7:48 PM

Amazing how Japan, smaller than California, can vacuum up so much stock from the Pacific.

Flag +1 rate up
Mike revivalman September 04 2014 at 11:17 AM

Thats because they're reasoning is literally, "If Americans can eat as much cow as they want than we can east as much tuna as we want." The fact that cows are not becoming endangered is lost on such an arrogant race of people.

Flag 0 rate up
tiffy3156 buddwhyzr September 04 2014 at 11:52 AM

Jap use dolphin as Tuna for sushi.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
avl14 September 03 2014 at 4:07 PM

Sea Shepherd and one submarine problem solved

Flag Reply +11 rate up
3 replies
classicfinisher September 03 2014 at 3:45 PM

Fukushima, whales, what's next?
guess they want to kill it all......

Flag Reply +8 rate up
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