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Japan Resumes Whaling in Antarctic Ocean

Earning such headlines as CNN’s “Japan defies world as ‘research’ ship embarks on minke whale kill,” Newsweek’s “Japan Resumes Killing Whales as the World Looks on, Helpless” and the Washington Post’s “A Japanese vessel is set to kill 333 whales for ‘research – but is science really behind the hunt?,” Japan has, as indicated, sent it’s first whaling fleet in more than a year to the Antarctic.
It’s task, despite a contrary ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and fierce objections by nations such as Australia and New Zealand, is to kill 333 minke whales in the name of studying their health and migration patterns.
An information sheet from Japan’s Fisheries Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls this program the “New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean,” or NEWREP-A, and includes measures taken “in light of the reasoning and conclusions of the ICJ Judgement.”
Japan claims that “it is not feasible to obtain age data by the currently available non-lethal research methods” and “the sample size of Antarctic minke whales for the lethal research is determined by statistical testing and is limited to the number of samples with which age-at-sexual maturity data, not obtainable by the currently available non-lethal research methods, can be estimated with sufficient accuracy.”
NEWREP-A is scheduled to run for 12 years and could kill 4,000 whales.

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