Japan vows to resume whale hunt; activists promise fight
The Japanese whaling research vessel Nisshin Maru is approached by a Sea Shepherd vessel in the Southern Ocean during last season's hunt.
October 4th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Japan vows to resume whale hunt; activists promise fight

Japan says it will hunt whales in the Southern Ocean this winter and will send a Fisheries Agency ship to guard its whalers against promised intervention by a conservation group.

"The Fisheries Agency will send a patrol boat and take increased measures to strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships," Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at a news conference Tuesday.

At its annual meeting in July, the International Whaling Commission passed a resolution calling on its member countries "to cooperate to prevent and suppress actions that risk human life and property at sea."

Last winter, Japan cut its planned December-to-April hunt two months short after anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society repeatedly interfered with the whaling vessels.

Sea Shepherd claims it saved 800 whales by its actions during last season's hunt. Japanese whalers killed 171 minke whales and two fin whales during the Antarctic hunt, according to IWC figures.

In a statement issued last Friday, Sea Shepherd vowed to take on the whaling vessels again.

“They will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again. ... We will undertake whatever risks to our lives will be required to stop this invasion of arrogant greed into what is an established sanctuary for the whales,” Sea Shepherd's leader, Paul Watson, said in a statement on the organization's website. Sea Shepherd will have more than 100 people in the Southern Ocean to block the Japanese whaling fleet, according to the statement.

Kano said Japan wants to continue research whaling with the aim of establishing that whale stocks are sufficient to resume a full commercial hunt in the future, according to Japanese media reports.

Sea Shepherd contends that the research hunts are a sham, with meat from the hunts being sold to consumers and served in restaurants.

Australia's government condemned Japan's decision to resume its research hunt and its plans for future commercial hunts.

"The Australian government remains opposed to all commercial whaling, including so-called 'scientific whaling.' We will keep working to achieve a permanent end to all commercial whaling," Environment Minister Tony Burke said in a statement.

"Australia believes Japan's whaling is contrary to international law and should stop," Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland said.

"That is why Australia is taking our case in the International Court of Justice to bring to an end Southern Ocean whaling permanently."

Japan also hunts whales in the Northern Pacific, taking 100 sei whales, 50 Bryde's, 119 minke and three sperm whales last season, according to the IWC.

Iceland and Norway also conduct whale hunts. Aboriginal whale hunts are permitted in the Danish territory of Greenland, the U.S., Russia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Filed under: Animals • Australia • Japan • Whales
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Angel

    Why do they still whale? Boycott everything Ja-pan, and the outcry in their own country will make them stop.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. TUG

    Stop any aid and sympathy to them. One ofthe most cruel cultures in the world

    October 4, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Calamari Man

      Yes, whales are a vile and disgusting culture. The only punishment which is suitable for them is to be served on a nice bed of white rice.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • shevy

      You are very right. As a culture they have no regard for our oceans, fish stocks, or the pain caused by killing mammals like dolphins and whales. Its sickening.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Angel

    Just wondering, they use underwater radar in the us to hurt whales and confuse them, why can we not develop a noise to warn the whales of danger here comes the J whalers. They are thought to be intelligent animals and can communicate with each other, why can't we find the right sound to warn them and not have to have the physical conflicts with the J whalers. Lower a mic and sound the *get out of these waters the J whalers are coming*.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Japan is sending out whaling boats for "research".
    Is *that* what they're calling it these days?

    October 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Calamari Man

      They are researching the various flavors of fresh Sushi.

      Get in m'a belly!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank ( R- Ohio )"Off the deep end"

    "Wait till they hunt the very rare "flatulent" sperm whale". They'll have to cork that bit_h.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©


    October 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Calamari Man


      October 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Calamari Man

    Them hippies need to back off and let them whalers hunt away! I love my Sushi!

    October 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Nuke the gay whales if you love Jesus.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Calamari Man

      Mmm...BBQ whale....

      October 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Oh, why the hell not? Everything else is done in Jesus' name!

    October 4, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. leeintulsa

    Sounds doable to me.. Some irritating noise that would drive whales away.. I like it..

    October 4, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I've always wanted to have whale steak, but I never have. I'd like to try it once while I'm still "this side the earth."
    As for calamari, there you have one of the best things in the world!
    I prefer sashimi to sushi: I avoid carbs.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    It also hurts a fish or a cow to be slaughtered.
    I am a carnivore.
    If someone else chooses to give up meat, I don't care. I think that he should eat whatever he chooses.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calamari Man

      That's why I sport a bumper sticker that reads:
      "Save a tree, eat a vegetarian."

      October 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anomic Office Drone

    I hope Australia wins their case. What kind of legitimate research ends with the experimented upon animal corpse being cut up and sold in super markets as food?

    October 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    @Atomic Office Drone:
    The commercial kind...

    October 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I just had a chat with my closest friend, who now lives in another state. I mentioned the whale/food issue, asking whether he'd ever eaten a whale steak. He said he wouldn't do it. Then he lectured about how perfectly happy the whales are in the ocean by themselves.
    OK. It all averages out. Some folks eat 'em, some don't. We'll all survive.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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