Japan’s latest whaling mission to the Southern Ocean resulted “record low” numbers of whales killed according to the Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.
Despite leaving port in December to kill up to 1000 minke whales, the hunters took 103 – less than half its total from 2012. However, the Minister also said that it will continue to seek more support from other countries to continue with these hunts in the future.
The Japanese government uses a loophole to get around an international ban on hunting by claiming to hunt these whales for scientific research purposes, despite claiming at the same time that eating whale is part of the country’s culinary tradition.
The whales that are killed in these hunts are later sold as food.
Norway and Iceland also hunt whales in open defiance of a 1986 ban on commercial whaling.