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Japan plans to resume hunting of Antarctic minke whales despite UN ban

Published on Sep 3, 2014 3:05 PM
 
This file picture taken on April 26, 2014, shows crew members of a whaling ship checking a whaling gun or harpoon before departure at Ayukawa port in Ishinomaki City, northern Japan. Japan plans to resume its slaughter of minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean next year, an official said on Wednesday, Sept 3, 2014, despite an order from the UN's top court to stop all whaling in the area. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan plans to resume its slaughter of minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean next year, an official said Wednesday, despite an order from the UN's top court to stop all whaling in the area.

Tokyo was forced to abandon its 2014-2015 hunt in March when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said the annual expedition was a commercial activity masquerading as research.

But a new policy announced by the pro-whaling government on Tuesday hopes to bypass this ruling by giving the controversial mission a more scientific focus.

Whaling vessels will collect "data necessary to calculate the number of whale catch allowed (once commercial whaling resumes)", and "construct a model of the Antarctic Ocean ecosystem", an official of the Japan Fisheries Agency told AFP. "We are thinking that we will only target Antarctic minke whales in the new plan," he said.

 
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