FILE PHOTO : Captured short-finned pilot whales are seen on the deck of a whaling ship at Taiji Port in Japan's oldest whaling village of Taiji, 420 km (260 miles) southwest of Tokyo June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
FILE PHOTO : Captured short-finned pilot whales are seen on the deck of a whaling ship at Taiji Port in Japan's oldest whaling village of Taiji, 420 km (260 miles) southwest of Tokyo June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Japan resumes commercial whaling after 3-decade hiatus

By: MENA
Mon, Jul. 1, 2019
TOKYO, July 1 (MENA) - Japanese whaling fleets set sail Monday to hunt whales for commercial purposes for the first time in 31 years, a day after Tokyo formally left the International Whaling Commission.

As an IWC member, Japan halted commercial whaling in 1988 but hunted whales for what it claims were research purposes, a practice criticized internationally as a cover for commercial whaling.

On Monday morning, the Nisshin Maru, a whale factory ship belonging to Kyodo Senpaku Co., and two other whalers left the port of Shimonoseki in the western Japan prefecture of Yamaguchi to hunt minke, sei and Bryde's whales offshore.

Five small vessels from six operators also left Kushiro in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido to hunt minke whales in coastal waters.

One whale has been caught by one of the small vessels, the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association said. The whale is expected to be brought to Kushiro port later in the day
 
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