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Three ships will head out this week for the northwestern Pacific with the aim of catching 260 whales by early August, the Fisheries Agency said Tuesday.

The Institute of Cetacean Research plans to catch 100 minke whales, 100 sei whales, 50 Bryde’s whales and 10 sperm whales in the 19th annual research program in the northwestern Pacific to check the animals’ diet and sizes, the agency said. The meat will be sold to help pay for the research.

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