18:43 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Asia & Pacific

    Minke Whaling Starts in Japanese Coastal Waters

    Asia & Pacific
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    Four whaling ships left Japan’s northeastern port of Sendai Friday to hunt a maximum 51 minke whales in coastal waters as part of the government’s scientific research whaling in the northwestern Pacific.

    The Association for Community-based Whaling, a nonprofit set up for coastal research whaling, plans the hunt, to run until May 26, to assess the animals’ impact on marine resources by examining factors such as the contents of their stomachs, Kyodo news agency reported.

    Japan's "research" whaling has been a target of international criticism as meat from the hunted animals is placed on the market after scientific examinations are completed.

    In March last year, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean violated the International Convention of the Regulation of Whaling and ordered it to halt research whaling in the Antarctic.

    In response, Japan reviewed parts of its research whaling program in the Northwestern Pacific and scaled down operations last year.

    Related:

    Japan Seeks International Backing for ‘Scientific’ Whaling Despite UN Ban
    Japan Cuts on Illegal ‘Scientific Whaling’
    Tags:
    criticism, minke whaling, UN International Court of Justice, Association for Community-based Whaling, Japan
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