Japan Plans to kill 51 Minkes For Pacific Whale ‘Research’

Workers butcher a Baird’s Beaked whale at Wada port in Minamiboso, southeast of Tokyo, June 28, 2008. (Reuters / Toru Hanai)

Japan has launched its seasonal Pacific whale hunt off Hokkaido Island, planning to kill 51 minke whales for what it describes as “research” purposes. Earlier this year, the International Court banned Japan’s Antarctic whale hunt, deeming it unscientific.

Four ships set sail from the port city of Kushiro on Sunday for Japan’s annual “research-based” whale hunting campaign, local media reported.

Japan Plans to kill 51 Minkes For Pacific Whale 'Research'

An animal rights activist covered in red paint lies on a white sheet made to look like a Japanese flag during a protest against dolphin and small whale slaughter, Madrid, September 3, 2008. (Reuters / Susana Vera)

The fleet plans to catch 51 minke whales during the trip, which is to last through the end of October, Japan’s Fisheries Agency said.

The campaign is officially aimed at researching the contents of whales’ stomachs to survey the impact of their predation on coastal fishing, the Japan Times reported. The meat of the mammals will be sold in markets and restaurants. Environmental activists claim that Japan’s “research” is a cover-up for commercial whaling. Read Full Article Here.

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