Japan resumes Antarctica whale hunt

Hunting resumes as activists forced to return to port after running out of fuel.

    Activists managed to disrupt the hunt temporarily last month [Photo: Institute for Cetacean Research]

    The Japanese fleet, which had its own refuelling tanker, had to suspend the hunt last month after confrontations with activists from both groups.

     

    On January 15 two activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boarded a Japanese harpoon ship to deliver a protest letter, setting off a two-day standoff.

     

    Both Greenpeace and the more militant Sea Shepherd group sent ships to trail the Japanese whaling fleet, hoping to disrupt the whale hunt and stop more whales from being killed.

     

    An Australian media report last Friday said a coastguard vessel had seen Japanese harpoonists kill five whales in one day after the protesters left the area.

     

    On January 15, an Australian court, in a symbolic ruling, ordered an end to Japanese whaling in its Antarctic waters.

     

    Japan has to defend its whale-hunting programme saying the plan to slaughter about 1,000 whales this year is legitimate scientific research.

     

    But critics dismiss the programme as a disguise for commercial whaling which has been banned by the International Whaling Commission since 1986.

     

    A loophole in the ban however allows limited whaling for scientific research.

     

    Last year, Japan's southern ocean whaling season ended early after its factory ship, Nishin Maru, was crippled by fire while hunting in the Ross Sea area killing one crew member.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?