Japan ends whaling season 70% below quota
The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker clashes with Japanese whaling vessels this week in the Antarctic.
March 9th, 2012
02:12 PM ET

Japan ends whaling season 70% below quota

Japan's whaling fleet was headed home from the southern ocean after ending its annual Antarctic hunt with only a third of its expected catch, news reports from Japan said Friday.

The hunt ended three days ago with a catch of 266 minke whales and one fin whale, officials from Japan's Fisheries Agency said, according to one report from Australia's ABC news online.

The Sea Shephed Society, which sent a fleet of vessels to the southern ocean to block the hunt, proclaimed victory on its website.

"Operation Divine Wind is over! The Japanese whalers are going home!" the Sea Shepherd headline read.

"There are hundreds of whales swimming free in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary that would now be dead if we had not been down there for the last three months. That makes us very happy indeed," Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson is quoted as saying on the organization's website.

News of the Japanese whaling fleet's withdrawal comes four days after the Institute of Cetacean Research, which oversees the Japanese whaling program, reported a confrontation between the Japanese ships and Sea Shepherd's ship Bob Barker. The Bob Barker fired more than 40 flares and aimed a "high-powered" laser beam at the Japanese ships for more than 50 minutes, the institute said in a news release.

Watson said that with the high-seas showdown, "the whaling season was effectively over for the season."

Japan hunts whales every year despite a worldwide moratorium on whaling, utilizing a loophole in the law that allows for killing the mammals for scientific research.

Sea Shepherd said it would be back to block the Japanese fleet if it returns this year.

“If the Japanese whalers return, Sea Shepherd will return. We are committed to the defense of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” Watson said on the website. “No matter how long it takes, no matter how risky or expensive. The word 'sanctuary' actually means something to us and that something is worth fighting for.”

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Filed under: Animals • Environment • Japan • Whales
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. High Hopes


    My posts won't go thru?


    Darn Aliens!

    March 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      You're trying to post the word J-A-P-A-N aren't you. It is blocked as a bad word. I use 'Nippon' instead.

      March 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hmmm

    Stinkin hippies! Those whalers have to work too. How would you like it if someone came and interfered with your job and cost you money. They're just animals...seriously...get over it

    March 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      did you miss the part about worldwide moratorium on whaling..? they aren't hunters, they are poachers..

      March 10, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. High Hopes

    Bob Barker... One of the few 1%'ers who
    use their wealth and notoriety for mankind's


    Nippan is one of the few so-called civilized
    countries in the world you can still find
    Ivory artifacts, gorilla ashtrays, shark fin
    soup and black bear parts for medicinal
    purposes. They think international bans
    and poaching laws apply to everyone except

    … and they say we have no culture!

    Blubber… what is it used for?

    Wax, plastic and petroleum products is my
    guess but I'd have to research it. Anyone?

    March 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      I know they used to use the sperm whale(aptly called that because that's what their insides look like) blubber or something as fuel for lanterns Back in the day.

      March 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rubiconski

    Oh, and by the way..leave the whales alone....It's just wrong to kill intelligent creatures. More like murder. Whaling sucks!

    March 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes


      And the same goes for elephants, rhinos,
      walruses, gorillas, American black bears
      and, even, sharks. What kinda sense is
      there in netting sharks, cutting off their
      fins and discarding the rest?

      Troubling that people can be so cruel.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. High Hopes

    Thanks, Bombo!

    BTW: Nippan is another country that
    made the cut on my boycott list. Just
    think: America manufacturing all its own
    products in a pollution-free environment
    supporting its own financial prism!

    Free trade means trading our freedom
    for sub-standard products and long
    unemployment lines!

    There's my rant in a nutshell!


    March 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Monty Burns

    Some men hunt for sport,
    Others hunt for food,
    The only thing I'm hunting for,
    Is an outfit that looks good...

    See my vest, see my vest,
    Made from real gorilla chest,
    Feel this sweater, there's no better,
    Than authentic Irish setter.

    See this hat, 'twas my cat,
    My evening wear – vampire bat,
    These white slippers are albino
    African endangered rhino.

    Grizzly bear underwear,
    Turtles' necks, I've got my share,
    Beret of poodle, on my noodle
    It shall rest,

    Try my red robin suit,
    It comes one breast or two,
    See my vest, see my vest,
    See my vest.

    Like my loafers? Former gophers –
    It was that or skin my chauffeurs,
    But a greyhound fur tuxedo
    Would be best,

    March 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SP00N MAN

    The resolution is not so good on my screen. Is that Spiderman walking around on deck?

    March 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    @ jj, correct, they did. And i am in no way condoning the killing of whales, as its already mandated against it, but with the tragic things that country went thru in the recent past, its quite possible they are killing for food.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @chrissy: i'm sure there's a mcdonalds on every corner.. this isn't the congo we're talking about.

      they do it because their fathers did it.. and their father's fathers.. and their father's father's fathers.. and their father's father's father's fathers...

      March 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Are we supposed to feel bad that Japan was not able to kill more whales than that ? They say they are getting them for research. What kind of reasearch are they doing that it takes hundreds of whales ? And we wonder why the whole earth cycle is getting so screwed up.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    So are we suppose to feel bad that they were only able to kill 30% of the whales they normally would ? What the heck kind research are they claiming to do that it would so many hundreds to do it ?

    March 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. no apology

    Research, my behind, they are in a area where they aren't even supposed to be hunting. They use the "research" as a cover. Go Sea Shephards!! At least someone has the guts to stand up for what is right!!

    March 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    Obviously there is no limit to the number of whales you can kill. Therefore, an amendment is in order here to make the hunt for these fine creatures... unprofitable!

    March 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bob

    I live next to a whale. Damn, she is huge.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. RUFFNUTT (( 1/2 5th level magic-using kender ,1/4 illusionist ,1/4 warrior ))

    sometimes when i'm real backed up and drunk i'll go whale hunting...

    March 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RUFFNUTT (( 1/2 5th level magic-using kender ,1/4 illusionist ,1/4 warrior ))

    the trick to a successful whale hunt is to take the whale out to eat and go somewhere you dont have any friends near by...
    you can also rent a defferent vehicle so no one will reconize you...
    once you've been spotted with a whale, no one will forget...

    March 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
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