TOKYO — Japan completed Tuesday its research whaling in offshore waters in the northwestern Pacific for fiscal 2017, catching a total of 177 whales as planned, the Fisheries Agency said.During the whaling mission that started June 14, the fleet caught 43 minke whales and 134 sei whales to collect data on stomach contents, among other things, the agency said. It will analyze the data and report its findings to the International Whaling Commission.
Also, 407 sei whales and 61 minke whales were spotted in the observational research, the agency said.
What Japan calls research whaling has been criticized by other countries, with some saying it is a cover for commercial whaling as meat from the captured marine mammals is later sold.
The Fisheries Agency in May submitted to the IWC a plan to capture a total of 304 whales per year along the coast and offshore waters in the northwestern Pacific between fiscal 2017 and 2028.