Japan’s research whaling fleet leaves for Antarctic


Three ships have left Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, to join the mother vessel Nisshin Maru and hunt up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and 50 fin whales through March.

The Fisheries Agency had kept secret the departure date of the whaling fleet as a precaution against obstruction by the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose activities are expected to be monitored by a Japanese surveillance ship.

During the last season, the whalers killed 103 Antarctic minke whales, the smallest catch since Japan began what it calls “research whaling” in 1987, due to Sea Shepherd’s activities and bad weather.

Environmentalists have condemned Japan’s annual hunts in the Antarctic Ocean as a cover for commercial whaling.

  • Robert

    it’s not “research” and anyone who thinks it is is wrong! long live Sea Shepherd

  • Scott Smith

    What a joke! How many scientists are on-board these “Research” ships? As soon as the whale is brought on-board, does the research begin? Or would it be more realistic to say that the meat is immediately cut up and processed to sell? If the latter, then that is COMMERCE and not RESEARCH. Commercial whaling is illegal (commerce). It doesn’t take a genius to see what is going on. To quote Albert Einstein…”The difference between Genius and Stupidity is that Genius has it’s limits”. You can’t buy common sense, which is why I question what some of these governments lack based on their reactions (or lack thereof) to what is happening with the commercial whaling ban/moratorium.

  • disqus_WymHF2nrMw

    Who did you steal money from this year to fund your illegal whaling activities, Japan? Or do you still have tsunami money left over that should have gone to cleaning up the nuclear waste that continues to leak into the Pacific ocean. Keep your ships docked, you will fail again!!!

  • Taro Unno

    I expect the good investigation result.

  • BV

    After 26 YEARS of “research”, you should have published quite a bit of data on the whales you’ve taken “tissue samples” from, right? So, where can we read/find these volumes of research?!?! What have you discovered? What have you found to help these species survive? What ground breaking discoveries you have made that makes it worth sacrificing 985 whales PER YEAR?!?!

  • joyousbeings

    Thank Heaven for the Sea Shepherd!!!!! Godspeed to you all!!!!~

  • Nick Readman

    Shame on you Japan, the time will come when you will look back at this time in history and realised how wrong you are. SHAME