Whaling catch sinks to new low


Japan’s first “research whaling” trip since an international court banned such activities in the Antarctic earlier this year produced its lowest catch in northeastern waters since 2003, a whaling association said.

The whalers caught 30 minke whales off Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, between April 26 and Wednesday, well under its self-imposed limit of 51 and short of that threshold for the second consecutive year, the Association for Community-Based Whaling said Friday.

Toshihiro Mogoe, head of the association’s research group, attributed the low catch to unfavorable weather that limited operations to just 19 days out of the 47-day hunt.

According to Mogoe, the number of whales appears to be rising. “The number of whales we confirmed is actually larger than last year,” he said.