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Japanese ships leave for whale hunt off northeastern coast

  • April 5, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 11:57 a.m.
  • English Press

SENDAI — Japanese ships left a port in northeastern Japan on Thursday to conduct what the government calls research whaling off the coast in the Pacific Ocean through late April, a whaling group said.


The vessels plan to catch minke whales in the sea within a radius of 90 kilometers from the port in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, so they can analyze their stomach contents and use the gathered data to manage marine resources, according to the Association for Community-Based Whaling.


In addition to those vessels, whaling ships will also hunt the mammal in the sea off Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in May and off Kushiro in Hokkaido in the fall, together catching up to 80 minke whales in the three sea areas.


The whaling group said the activity is aimed at collecting scientific data for Japan to resume its commercial whaling, which the country halted in line with an international moratorium that came into force in 1986. Critics say Japan’s research program is a cover for commercial whaling.

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