KUSHIRO, Japan — A Japanese whaling group said Thursday it caught 35 minke whales during what the government calls research whaling in coastal waters off Hokkaido in September and October with the support of the Fisheries Agency.
The whaling in Pacific coastal waters around Japan is authorized by the fisheries minister and conducted by the Fukuoka-based whaling promotion group every year to gather data of the marine mammals, including their stomach contents and body lengths, for the purpose of eventually resuming commercial whaling in the future.
During this year’s research off Kushiro, the fleet spotted 47 minke whales and caught 22 males and 13 females, undershooting its target number of 77 as it was hampered by inclement weather such as typhoons.
“We were able to grasp the distribution patterns (of the whales) in waters around Hokkaido in detail,” an official of the group said.
During whaling conducted in June and July in coastal waters off Abashiri in Hokkaido, the group caught 47 minke whales. It also hunted 3 minke whales in coastal waters off Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, during whaling in July and August.