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Japan sets sail for massive whale kill

On Sunday 18th November  Japan's whaling fleet set sail for the Antarctic aiming to conduct the biggest single whale slaughter since commercial whaling was banned over twenty years ago.  The whalers are targeting 1,035 whales for so-called ‘research’, cynically exploiting a legal loophole in the whaling convention.  

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has repeatedly condemned the hunt, most recently at its annual meeting held in Anchorage last May.

Japan has killed over 10,000 whales for ’research’ since the IWC banned commercial whaling in 1986. All the meat is sold commercially with the choicest cuts an extremely expensive delicacy in Japanese restaurants.

The whalers aim to kill 935 minke whales, plus a further 50 fin and 50 humpback whales, the latter two species considered especially  threatened. The humpback whale has been protected for over forty years, having been almost exterminated by whaling. 

The fleet, which set sail Sunday from Shimonoseki, includes the 8,000 ton factory ship Nisshin Maru which caught fire last season forcing a premature abandonment of the hunt. The hunting season in the Antarctic lasts for around four months with the fleet due to return to Japan in late March or early April.

To protest at Japan's "scientific" whaling:
Ambassador Mr. Yoshiji Nogami
Embassy of Japan
101 Piccadily
Tel: 020 7465 6500
Prime Minister Yasuo Fakuda
Prime Ministers Office
2-3-1 Nagata-cho
Tokyo 100-0014