International

Over 120 pregnant minke whales killed in Japan

Three Minke whales are pictured on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru inside what Sea Shepherd Australia says is an internationally recognised whale sanctuary in this handout image dated January 5, 2014.

Three Minke whales are pictured on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru inside what Sea Shepherd Australia says is an internationally recognised whale sanctuary in this handout image dated January 5, 2014.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

More than 120 pregnant minke whales were killed during Japan’s latest annual hunt off the coast of Antarctica, a new report said.

The report, released by the International Whaling Commission, showed that 128 out of the 333 minke whales caught during the expedition in the Southern Ocean were female, and 122 of them were pregnant, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

Some 114 of the 333 whales caught were not yet adults.

Japan’s latest hunting season in the Antarctic Ocean ran from early December to late February, lasting about 12 weeks.

In March 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled against Japan’s “research whaling”, saying that it served as a front to allow commercial hunting and selling of whales under a scientific exemption.

Later in 2014, Japan cut its whale hunting quota from 900 to 333 amid harsh international criticism.

But the Japanese government continued to claim that the Antarctic program is necessary to study the managing methods of minke populations and that hunting whale is “an ancient part of its culture”.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 12:37:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/over-120-pregnant-minke-whales-killed-in-japan/article24043810.ece

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