Japanese whaling vessels have returned to port from the Antarctic Ocean after killing 333 minke whales as planned.
The fleet, consisting of the Yushin Maru (724 tons), The 3rd Yushin Maru (742 tons)., and three other vessels, including the factory ship, Nisshin Maru (8145 tons) and the 2nd Yushin Maru (747 tons), left Japan for the Southern Ocean in November 2017.
Their mission was to slaughter the whales for so-called scientific research however, the scientific value of this slaughter has been called into question by the scientific committee of the body that regulates whale hunts (IWC – International Whaling Commission) and heavily criticised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the global authority on the status of the natural world.
Japan’s whalers killed 333 minke whales in the 2015/16 Antarctic hunting season with over 90% of the adult females being pregnant. Much of the whale meat from these ‘scientific’ hunts actually ends up on general sale in Japan. In March 2014, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s scientific whaling in the Antarctic did not qualify as such and should stop immediately.