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Japanese fishermen slaughter 122 pregnant whales for 'scientific research'

02 June 2018

Despite worldwide condemnation, the Japanese whaling group submitted a subsequent report outlining 'The importance of scientific research in the Antarctic ocean' through its whaling activities and agreed to "limit" it's annual catch to 333 minke whales. 122 or 67% of these females were pregnant and 53 or 29% were immature animals.

But Local media said that whale flesh was also being sold by the bucket load in Japan's fish markets. In this case, the cannons were fitted with 30g penthrite grenades.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC), which regulates the industry, agreed to a moratorium on commercial whaling from the 1985, with exceptions.

After being killed the animals were taken on board the boats, where their measurements and stomach contents were recorded, the IWC says. One hundred twenty-eight of the slaughtered creatures were females, and 122 of them were pregnant.

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In 2014, the International Court of Justice had ordered a temporary halt to Japan's annual programme in the Southern Ocean, after finding that the whaling was for commercial purposes and not scientific research. Reportedly, the killed whales were brought overseas the research vessel and cut apart on-site.

Humane Society International senior program manager Alexia Wellbelove has spoken out against the killings, calling it a "shocking statistic and sad indictment on the cruelty of Japan's whale hunt", according to the Sydney Morning Herald noted.

Despite global condemnation, Japan conducts its annual summer whale hunt.

Japan says its whaling programme is for scientific purposes, despite a 2014 United Nations ruling against its "lethal research" and widespread condemnation.

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The documents say Japan targeted 344 whales and killed 333.

Tokyo cancelled the hunt the following year, but resumed it in 2016, also killing around 300 minke whales. Japan then withdrew its recognition of the court as an arbiter of whaling disputes, and continued hunting in 2015. Elaine Lies of Reuters reported past year that the country's government has "repeatedly said its ultimate goal is the resumption of commercial whaling". "We look forward to Australia and other pro-conservation countries sending the strongest possible message to Japan that it should stop its lethal whaling programme".

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

"The Government has made representations at the highest levels to Japan - and will continue to do so".

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Japanese fishermen slaughter 122 pregnant whales for 'scientific research'