WALE - Japanese whaling expedition
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Geschrieben von LuigiFogo am 06. Oktober 2001 13:42:20:
Latest Japanese whaling expedition nets 158 whales
By Associated Press
TOKYO — Japanese ships have returned from an expedition in the northwest Pacific with a quarry of 158 whales, 70 more than last year's hunt. They've also added Bryde's and sperm whales to the usual catch of Minke, the government said this week.
The decision last year to include Bryde's and sperm whales in the hunt for first time triggered criticism worldwide and brought threats of economic sanctions from Washington.
Tokyo claims that with 22,000 Bryde's whales and 102,000 sperm whales in the northwest Pacific, the hunt poses no threat to whale populations. But critics say the purported research program is merely a front for commercial
The fleet of five government vessels embarked on the expedition on May 10. They entered port in Tokyo on Tuesday morning, and a welcome home ceremony was held shortly after their arrival, the Fisheries Agency said in a press
The fleet caught 100 minke whales, 50 Bryde's whales, and eight sperm whales, the agency said.
Japan is allowed to catch a limited number of whales under a scientific research program sanctioned by the International Whaling Commission. Japan defends the program as a necessary means of monitoring whale migration, population, and feeding habits.
But the United States, Britain, and other nations say the hunts are a disguise for commercial whaling, which the International Whaling Commission banned in 1987.
Despite the ban, whale meat is sold in Japanese restaurants, which get their stock from the research program.
Japan's annual research hunt is usually around 400 whales.