World News

Japan kills 122 pregnant whales

Japan kills 122 pregnant whales

To which Japan launched a new whaling program of doubling their killing grounds and dropping their self allocated quota from 1035 whales down to 333.

The data shows that in the 2017/18 hunt, 122 of the female minkes captured were pregnant, while 61 of the males and 53 of the females were not yet adults.

The International Court of Justice ruled Japan's Antarctic whaling program illegal in 2014.

Japan insists on conducting its annual summer whale hunt - including killing in Australian whale sanctuaries - despite global condemnation.

"Research effort began 60 minutes after sunrise and ended 60 minutes before sunset, with a maximum 12 hour per day", said a report from Japan on its whaling activities, according to The Guardian".

Japan maintains killing of the whales is based on purely scientific reasons.

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Aside from its research claims, the Japanese government says whale hunting is an ancient part of Japan's culture.

The annual killing spree was held over 143 days and saw a total of 333 Antarctic minke whales slaughtered last summer as part of Japan's controversial whaling program.

More than 120 pregnant whales were killed by Japan in the name of "research" during the country's latest Antarctic Ocean hunt, Newsweek noted. The gruesome nature of this hunting method was revealed in distressing detail previous year, when the conservation group Sea Shephard released footage of a minke whale struggling after being struck with an explosive harpoon during a Japanese whale hunt that took place in an Australian whale sanctuary.

Critics say the research is actually a cover for commercial whaling, as the meat from the harpooned mammals is later sold to be eaten.

'It is further demonstration, if needed, of the truly gruesome and unnecessary nature of whaling operations, especially when non-lethal surveys have been shown to be sufficient for scientific needs, ' she told the Sydney Morning Herald. The country resumed its Southern Ocean whale hunt in 2015. "We look forward to Australia and other pro-conservation countries sending the strongest possible message to Japan that it should stop its lethal whaling programs", concluded Ms Wellbelove. There's really very little Japan could do about it. Sea shepherd is also calling on the Australian government to send a vessel to oppose whaling by Japan, this is the promise they made to the people of Australia and what the majority of Australians want to see done, " stated Mr Hansen.

"Whales are already facing substantial threats including bycatch in fisheries and marine pollution", Wellbelove said.


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