Japan’s four vessel whale hunting fleet returns after hunting over 300 whales despite the world’s protests.
The Japanese have been defending their whale hunting since 1980s when a world moratorium amassed against their whale hunting. The Japanese have defended their actions over the years with different reasons.
First they said that the Japanese consumed the fish and it was a part of their diet. After a while, the wildlife protection authorities gained enough power to protest the Japanese expeditions for whale hunting.
In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that the Japanese expedition in the Southern Ocean should stop. They ordered the Japanese fleets to call off that mission.
The mission was called off but the Japanese indicated that they will be resuming their expedition later and the fleet went out in December, 2015 despite international criticism, including from important ally the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
In the past few days, the four vessel fleet have been returning to Shimonoseki in southwestern Japan. The final vessel came in on Thursday. The fleet has achieved the goal of hunting 333 minke whales according to the Fisheries Agency (via Reuters).
Among these fish were 103 males and 230 females. Fisheries Agency reported that 90 percent of the mature females were pregnant. The Agency also added that the number of pregnant females that have been hunted is consistent with previous hunts. This indicates that the breeding situation of minke whales in the Antarctic is healthy,
Most of the whales that are hunted end up on the top shelves of the Japanese market. The worst thing about the whole situation is that Japanese are doing this in the name of research while this whale hunting is commercial. They intend to hunt down 4,000 whales in the next 12 years.