Amid international controversy, a fleet of ships will set sail from the port of Shimonoseki on Monday.

After departing the Yamaguchi Prefecture port, they will begin a mission that will enrage many, but perhaps hearten others. Supporters might call it a day that was 30 years in the making. Detractors will call it a step back for whale conservation efforts.

In a polarizing move, Japan will resume commercial whaling Monday following its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission, breaking away from the organization's worldwide moratorium on whale hunting enacted over three decades ago.