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Japan Kills 333 Whales During Gov't-Backed Expedition

© REUTERS / KyodoJapanese whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru returns to the Shimonoseki port in southwestern Japan after it and two other vessels hunted 333 minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean
Japanese whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru returns to the Shimonoseki port in southwestern Japan after it and two other vessels hunted 333 minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean - Sputnik International
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Japanese whalers have killed 333 black minke whales during a government-backed months-long expedition to allegedly survey biomass resources, the national Fisheries Agency said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The agency said as cited by news outlets that a fleet of five ships returned to Japan's southern port city of Shimonoseki earlier in the day after completing five months of research of the Antarctic Ocean ecosystem.

The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling globally in 1986 but later made an exception for scientific research, a loophole Japan has been using for decades.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Japan to halt whale research in the Antarctic in early 2014. It adhered to the ruling and skipped one hunting season but reapplied for permission to resume whaling in December 2015 and sent ships out on a whale hunt the next year.

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