11 Jun '11, 5am

#Japan launches 'research' #whaling in NW Pacific: plan to kill hundreds of #whales.

TOKYO - JAPAN sent a whaling fleet to the north-west Pacific for what it called a research hunt on Saturday, four months after cutting short a similar mission in the Antarctic due to obstruction by activists. The three-vessel fleet, led by the Nisshin Maru, plans to catch 260 whales including 100 minkes until late August to study their stomach contents, DNA and other information, according to the Institute of Cetacean Research. The government-affiliated institute has organised such operations since 1987, citing a loophole in a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling which allows hunts for scientific research. Anti-whaling nations and environmentalist groups condemn the activity as a cover for commercial whaling but Japan said it is necessary to substantiate its claim that there is a robust whale population in the world. The institute said the mission would be i...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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Japan sends whaling team to NW Pacific

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