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Japan starts whaling research mission

World Maritime News
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Japan started a new "research mission" in the Southern Ocean as the country sent its fleet to continue whaling operations in the area on November 9.

The fleet departed from the port of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on a mission to catch 333 minke whales through March 2018. Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research informed it would collect scientific data necessary to manage whale stocks and the ecosystem in the Antarctic.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Japan's decision to continue whaling in the Southern Ocean "is out of step with international opinion and defies scientific advice".

"Japan's decision to conduct whaling in the Southern Ocean flies in the face of the clear recommendations of the International Whaling Commission, its Scientific Committee and its expert panels," Mr Peters said.

"Put simply, Japan can achieve its stated research objectives without killing whales.

"This is an outdated practice and needs to stop."

Earlier this year, the marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd said it decided to stopdeploying ships to fight against Japan's whaling efforts.

The decision was made on the back Japan's move to employ military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real time by satellite in order to avoid the organisation's vessels.








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