Japan caught 251 whales in Antarctic Ocean in fiscal 2013


Japan caught 251 southern minke whales as part of its research whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean in fiscal 2013, which ended March 31, the Fisheries Agency said Tuesday.

The number was larger than the 103 whales caught in the previous year, but far short of the planned catch of 935 whales because the operation was blocked by antiwhaling activist group Sea Shepherd.

Japan conducted the fiscal 2013 research whaling between Jan. 3 and March 13 this year.

Last month, the Hague-based International Court of Justice ordered Japan to stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, saying that the activity goes beyond what can be regarded as scientific research.

The Fisheries Agency will not conduct whaling in the Antarctic Ocean in fiscal 2014. It will scale back the activity and change other details so Japan can resume whaling in the waters in late 2015.