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Last Japanese whale hunt for ‘research’ ends as mass slaughter for profit looms

Harpoon on Japanese whaling vessel

Japanese vessels returned to port this weekend from what appears to be their last Antarctic Ocean whale hunting mission in the name of science.

The fleet of five ships led by the 8,145-ton mothership Nisshin Maru left Japan for the Southern Hemisphere in November.

Vessels returned to Shimonoseki port in Yamaguchi Prefecture and ports in Miyagi and Hiroshima prefectures after killing a total of 333 minke whales.

Hunting in the region for so-called research purposes has been going on for decades but, following the Japanese government’s recent decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (the body that regulates whale hunting), a new era of openly commercial whale hunting for profit is set to begin. Japan is expected to resume commercial whaling in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone from July.

Japan stopped commercial whaling in the 1980s following the introduction of an international ban by the IWC, but continued to kill whales in the name of scientific research despite the fact that most of the meat ended up for sale.

The Japanese government caused international outrage when it decided to pull out of the IWC in December 2018 after its proposal to resume sustainable commercial whaling and change decision-making rules at the body was rejected at its annual meeting in September.

13 Comments

  1. Pete Wariner on 2nd April 2019 at 11:01 pm

    For a so called intelligent nation am dismayed at the stupidity of the people to allow their government to make this decision but unfortunately not shocked it has

    Hopeful that sense will come quickly

  2. Rosemary Shaw on 4th April 2019 at 11:46 am

    These Asian countries need to be accountable for all these killings and Boycotted till they stop this slaughter,

  3. Derek West on 25th April 2019 at 6:19 pm

    This is totally unnecessary and shows the contempt Japan holds for the oceans. International trade is more important than whales so no country has the backbone to condemn
    their immoral actions.

  4. Elizabeth on 25th April 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I agree, countries need to impose boycotts to financially impact Japan and the other countries that kill whales. Whales are not owned by any one country so Japan is stealing from the rest of the world and we need to deal with such theft seriously. Japan should not be allowed to damage our Planet because of their greed and ignorance.

  5. Elizabeth on 25th April 2019 at 6:26 pm

    I agree, countries need to impose boycotts to financially impact Japan and the other countries that kill whales. Whales are not owned by any one country so Japan is stealing from the rest of the world and we need to deal with such theft seriously. Japan should not be allowed to damage our Planet because of their greed and ignorance.

  6. Maxine Rigby on 25th April 2019 at 6:26 pm

    How is it that these countries cannot see the beauty in these creatures and just have the urge all the time to destroy everything thats majestic and beautiful on our planet all for power greed and profit disgusting human beings!!!!!!!!!

  7. Linda miller on 25th April 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Heartbreaking, what do they hope to gain , apart from money . Certainly not respect , what a barbaric nation

  8. Padraic Boocock on 25th April 2019 at 9:49 pm

    This calls for international sanctions. They have no intention of coming to their senses. They know what they are doing to satisfy the greed of the few behind the whale hunting and exploitation business.

    They will stop only when it hurts more to continue than it does to stop.

    That’s just how humans behave, sadly.

  9. Jackie Bodimead on 26th April 2019 at 9:45 am

    Japan must stop whaling and killing these majestic animals, they have no grounds to kill them, humanity is turning away from such horrors.

  10. Cherie Lust-Robinson on 26th April 2019 at 9:49 am

    Not visiting Japan (and even not shopping at the Japan Centre in London anymore) until Japan, a seemingly intelligent nation, comes to it’s senses and stops all the unnecessary whaling. Shame on them!

  11. Bel Bluemel on 26th April 2019 at 12:03 pm

    International sanctions should be introduced. This is appalling. Would not visit Japan and hope others do not either. The world is watching, Japan.

  12. Stephanie Stephenson on 26th April 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Is it Japan’s intention to wipe them out?

  13. Heather Barnes on 27th April 2019 at 4:00 am

    I have just last week returned from a 5 week sea journey from NZ to Japan with Heritage Expeditions. Specifically looking for cetaceans and seabirds. In the seas around southern Japan we saw numerous whales and dolphins, some quite rare species, and including a number of humpbacks just off the island of Miyake-Jima lunge feeding, and one of which spent over minute breaching numerous times. There were 44 passengers and 22 staff and crew and almost all drop everything and rush out on deck when the call goes out about a cetacean sighting, all stand transfixed or madly photographing. Some people spent many hours every day on deck, in all weathers, specifically looking for whale signs. We were all saddened by the knowledge that the very animals we were so delighted by would probably be brutally killed in a few short months

    Before we left I sent a letter to their Prime Minister opposing the resumption and stated that we were about to travel for some weeks in Japan but chose not to after this announcement. Surely the tourist potential of large numbers of these lovely animals would be more lucrative than any hunt.

    I am going to have to go to Japan in person and stand in solidarity with any home grown groups opposing it. It is just heartbreaking, and because ” I want to change the things I cannot accept”

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