Apr 122016
 


Japan has killed 333 minke whales—including more than 200 pregnant females—as part of this year’s Antarctic whale hunt, according to the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research.

On Wednesday, four ships returned from their 115-day expedition to conduct “scientific” whaling activities. The hunt was in blatant disregard of the International Court of Justice’s 2014 ruling that challenged the scientific legitimacy of the program.

The International Whaling Commission, which regulates the industry, has banned commercial whaling since 1986, but an exemption for scientific studies remains. Japan has long been accused of using this exemption as cover for commercial whaling activities.

Japan killed 333 minke whales in the Antarctic during its 2015-2016 whaling season. Photograph by Kyodo/AP

As marine mammal biologist Leah Gerber told National Geographic in 2014:

Once a Japanese ship lands a whale, there is some semblance of scientific activity, including collecting organs for use in research, Gerber said. But the bulk of the whale goes to market, she said, where it’s sold for consumption.

After the international court ruling, Japan halted its whaling activities briefly, but then resolved to begin whaling again in the 2015-2016 season. It revised its program to be more scientific, and it lowered its quota of whales by about two-thirds.

Still, many scientists derided the new plan, and the International Whaling Commission could not reach a consensus on whether it met requirements. And while the quota reduction looked good on paper, it didn’t make much of a difference in practice, according to Astrid Fuchs, the whaling program manager for the nonprofit organization Whale and Dolphin Conservation. In previous years, Japan has killed between 200-400 Antarctic minke whales each year. This year’s 333 isn’t out of the ordinary.

Also part of its plan: targeting females. Japan maintains that it must capture and kill juvenile and adult females in order to determine the age at which minke whales reach sexual maturity. Japan wants to use this data in its quest to demonstrate the minke whale population is healthy enough for regular whaling, Fuchs said.

And because it’s breeding time in the southern seas, 90 percent of the females Japanese whalers killed were pregnant.

The expedition was part of a 12-year plan to kill nearly 4,000 whales in Antarctic waters. The conservation status of Antarctic minke whales is unclear, but some analyses have found a 60 percent reduction when comparing the 1978–91 period and the 1991–2004 period, which would qualify it for endangered status.

This article was first published by National Geographic on 25 Mar 2016.

 

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Netgranaat

This is a sin,a disgrace and an autrosity

Sallyann

Why do they need so many pregnant whales surely half a dozen could determine sexual maturity ? The ocean needs whales for its correct balance and sustainability.

Jane Avis

The Japanese seem to be determined to denude the oceans of any fish !! To them it’s profit at any cost to the world !!!!!!!

Mackie Braden

Japan is perhaps the worst abuser of overfishing and killing of whales. They should be heavily fined and sanctioned until they comply regularly.

Marty Price

TO KILL 200 PREGNANT WHALES IS CRIMINAL. JAPAN HAS NO RESPECT FOR OCEAN LIFE WHATSOEVER. THEY ARE UNCONSCIABLE SAVAGES. I ALWAYS INSPECT LABELS AND WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS DESPICABLE COUNTRY UNTIL THEY BECOME CIVILIZED HUMANS.

Robert Piller

Where’s Sea Shepherd these days? Are they even still doing anything?

M Leybra

If Japan’s intent is to demonstrate the minke whale population is healthy enough for regular whaling, it seems they’re defeating their own objective by reducing the number of breeding females & would logically be killing mostly males.

Diane Holsinger

How awful

Eve Crawford
The Japanese whalers are not conducting ” scientific ” whaling activities. What a bunch of BS . What the Japanese whalers are doing is slaughtering pregnant Minke whales . These horrible people killed 200 pregnant Minke whales ; that means 400 Minke whales were killed . There is nothing scientific about this slaughter of innocent and beautiful pregnant whales. The International Whaling Commission has banned commercial whaling since 1986 , but an exemption for scientific studies remains. The Japanese whalers are pretending these murdered pregnant Minke whales are part of a scientific study when in fact , according to this… Read more »
Marilyn marilyn

THIS GOD AWFUL CULTURE NEEDS TO SINK INTO THE OCEAN!!!!!!
THEIR PHONY ACTS OF HAPPINESS, AND THEIR GLORIOUS GARDENS, ARE NOTHING BUT HYPOCRITICAL, AND TO FOOL THE REST OF THE WORLD FROM THEIR CRUEL, AND STUBBORN WAYS, OF WHICH HARM THE EARTH, AND ALL OF IT’S INHABITANTS!!!!

Debby Lindsay

I agree, they say they have honor and respect but show none!

Richard Freeman

These vile little bastards used money donated for aid after the tusnami to build new whaling ships, cunts.

Francesca W G Delay

Dear Chris Brown, Thank you for your poem! I am crying as I write –
We, who care MUST JOIN YOGETHER TO WAKE UP THE ONE WHO
BATHE THEMSELVES IN FALSE SECURITY, WE MUST SAVE THE NATUAL WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKYOU AGAIN!
Francesca W G Delay, Sunday, 3rd July 2016.

Robert Piller

‘False security,’ I go along with that. All of this sustainable crap every conservation group spews these days. Please take a look at my website to see what real conservation’s about. http://cates1980.wixsite.com/cateswebsite

Francesca W G Delay

THERE IS NO HONOUR IN JAPAN'S HIPOCRACY ! ! ! It secures jobs and titles in the upper aichelons of Japan's society ! Much the same gors on in ALL OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD AT THE EXPENSE OF THE NATURAL WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Francesca W G Delay, Sunday,3rd July 2016.

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Monsters

Michael Branaman

Nobody is going to get it until everything is gone and even then who knows.

Chris Brown
At this rate, I can see my poem "The End of Whales" coming true. THE END OF WHALES (!982 & *86) O Great Leviathan of the Deep, Will Man, in peace, never let you sleep, O Great Leviathan; In the "good-olde-days-of-sail", Did he never hear you wail ["Whale"] That one day you might be extinct?! ———— …And the harpoon flashed As the great whale splashed In the stormy waters of the bay. It was on a wild and blust'ry day That the shore-whalers shot the harpoon From canon on land in late afternoon. They had struggle enough with the weather… Read more »
Janet Austin-Grimsley
When the Japanese kill a pregnant female, they kill 2 whales. If their quota was 333 minke whales and 200+ were pregnant, they killed over 533+ minke whales, thus breaking their own quota limit. But why did we expect them to keep their word? Just because a fetus is not born yet doesn't mean that the life didn't matter. What do they do with the unborn? This is one of the most heinous, ruthless, cruel, arrogant, disrespectful crimes the Japanese commit. The other is slaughtering dolphins in Taiji and north of Japan, along with all the other whales and dolphins… Read more »
M Leybra

Japan happens to be the second largest dealer in the ivory trade & just recently declared they will ‘rethink’ their role in that due to elephants projected to reach the tipping point leading to extinction within 20 years.

Bo Tamaki

It is time that stop this for once and all.

Christine Prince

It's disgusting how this slaughter continues,,nothing get done !according to polls,petitions ect everyone is in the same mind so why is this and other act's of abuse & slaughter continue!

Jane McConnell

not enough drop a nuclear bomb on them then tell them we will do it daily uintil they vow to never do this again. Humans need to be removed from the planert if we continue this irrepsonsible behaviour.

Nerina Bressan

They must stop it! Is forbidento why they steel do that ? Someone must stop them!!!!

Nerina Bressan

They must stop it!!!!

Mel Green

Bloody bastards, my heart cries over this. I think the international community has been to nice to these morons: time for big sanctions!

Tierra Chapman
Not to trivialize this vile atrocity as it is simply heinous! That said, ALL nations perpetrate their customary atrocities on non-human beings, and all do so without conscience. Every nation points a finger at the other one as each rationalizes their own brutal customs, atrocities which are fueled by a taste for flesh and animal byproducts. We are cannibalizing our one shared Earth, and yet we insist on living outside of our natural food chain, in deep, self-serving denial about the harsh effects of animal agriculture on our planet, be it on land or sea. We're shitting in our own… Read more »
Frank Barrachina

Just what is the purpose of continuing this barbaric practice? It doesn't prove a thing, it isn't any more scientific than studying Godzilla. Personally, I have boycotted everything Japanese for years. Most people don't care. And in the end more magnificent animals on this planet will become extinct by the hand of man. We are doomed!

Linda French

Japan is a horrible country without conscience. I have never bought a JAPANESE car, and I try not to buy Japanese products if I can buy European, or North American..although difficult at times!! The IWA is useless! They have turned a blind eye to this for many years, and they should be held accountable, they are as much to blame as the Japanese! I have lost respect for this Japanese culture a long time ago, and it looks like the young who could do something worry more about how they can put money in their pockets. Shameful…

Max Hanna

This is a terrible tragedy – it is a crime – 200 pregnant whales is 400 whales these rotten barbarians killed – they hve NO conscience – they make me so sick – I hope to God their rotten whaling ship sinks! – I thought we were going to stop this whaling/ Are these dirty barbarians breaking the International Law by hunting and killing the whales – Obama needs to get off his rear and go after these dirty Japs – we need to save the whales, not slaughter them for greed!

Leigh Lofgren

Horrific and do we stop this? Japan and China have much to account for in the deaths of so many species of animals. It is so wrong and yet nothing seems to be stopping them.

Marisa Wessel

and the world looks on and is silent… SHAME ON YOU JAPAN! may all you ancestors turn around in their graves in shame!

Maria Manuela Lopes

Disgusting and shame

Heidi Bresilge

We keep hearing about Japan breaching laws about slaughtering whales, but WHEN and HOW will they be held accountable for it?! They just keep doing it!! Scientific research~ my a**. It's time they were forced to do what's right, and leave the whales in peace!

Irina Salauyeva

Sname for the country.. Unfortunately,not all japanise knows about the killing of Dolphins and Whales,we have to spread the word..Although,nobody listens from the officials.. The same with radiation – it's a global crime.NOBODY CARES?..Yes,it looks like..Only one thing we can do – BOYCOTT all products of Japan and talk about it's crime everywhere..We have so many organisations to protect the Invironment and WildLife – Worl Wide,they are payed for this from our pockets – WHAT THEY ARE DOING in this direction?..Not much.Sad..So sad,Planet is dying,our beautiful common Home..

Michele Jankelow

A shame and disgrace on the Japanese nation for their lack of respect, standards, conservation and honour! Absolutely appalling!

Mark McCandlish

As time moves forward, in the wake of events like the reactor breaches of 2011 at Fukushima and the endless discharge of 88,000 gallons of radioactive contaminated water into the Pacific nearly every day since then, this overt "work-around" of compliance with international law just shows the Japanese (once again) to be a populace without HONOR. For shame. Boycott Japanese products. Send a message.

Kathy Bamber

Absolutely disgusting!!! :'( :'(

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