Japan ends Antarctic whale hunt

2012-03-09 11:30

Tokyo - Japan has ended this season's whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean having caught less than a third of its original target, the Fisheries Agency said on Friday.

Japanese whalers killed 266 mink whales and one fin whale, the agency said, well below the approximately 900 they had been aiming for when they left Japan in December.

The whalers had left the southern waters by Thursday "as scheduled", the agency said. It made no reference to the frequent high-seas confrontations with anti-whaling activists.

Militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd had pursued the Japanese fleet for much of the season.

The group has hurled stink bombs at the boats and used ropes to try to tangle their propellers in a series of exchanges, which have seen the whalers retaliate with a water cannon.

  • Hans - 2012-03-09 11:42

    I'm slightly confused though. Aren't whales on the endangered species list?

      Dave - 2012-03-09 11:47

      Johan - 2012-03-09 12:00

      Yes Hans but there is a loophole. The japs say the hunt whales for research which is absolute BS!

      john.h.viljoen - 2012-03-09 12:01

      don't tell anyone but,the japanese hunt them for scientific purposes.

      Peter - 2012-03-09 14:05

      Yes,not many left. The Japs could not even achieve their quota - the species is running out. And we all still buy Jap cars, pity they are so damn good!

      arne.verhoef - 2012-03-09 16:39

      No Hans, they are not. Even though killing such a majestic animal is horrible, Minke whales are not endangered, or even threatened. Fin Whales on the other hand, are listed as endangered, but still have a population of about 100k. Also, Peter, get your facts straight.

      Peter - 2012-03-09 19:42

      The whalers only managed to get ONE fin whale arne? Out of a population of 100 thousand? I wonder, but you do claim to have the facts, so who can argue with you. Han's probably does not know that whales comprise many species - but he is aware many of these species are endangered. That fact is not arguable. But yes, we do tend to be more vociferous in our defence of the majestic creatures - guess it's just human nature.

      Pierre - 2012-03-10 01:28

      I give you the benefit of the doubt that you were sarcastic, cause the alternative is you must be living a very ignorant live. The whaling controversy has been continuing for quite a number of years now. Go Seashepherd.

  • jean.elgato - 2012-03-09 11:45

    awesome you go sea sheperd. This barbarity must stop I hope all those that eat "research" whale meat get mercury poisoning and die.That is all

  • Anastasia - 2012-03-09 11:57

    Good. Bloody hunting under the auspices of "research". Liars. Whale meat suspiciously turning up in top notch restaurant menus and in markets. Go Sea Shepherd.

  • Zelda - 2012-03-09 12:00

    This practice should be banned!!!! Well done Sea Shepherd!!!!

  • les.cunningham1 - 2012-03-09 13:41

    @ Ben, I saw the series about the Sea Shepherd and the Japanese Whalers on TV and I agree 100% about a submarine, these Japs need to be stopped big time.

  • Peter - 2012-03-09 14:07

    Then again, there is a massive onslaught on all sea creatures to attempt to feed our out of control human population. And massive damage caused by pollution as well. We're heading for a fall.

      Heiku - 2012-03-09 15:09

      Increasing aquaculture is helping.

  • emokgojoe - 2012-03-09 14:11

    chinese hunt our rhinos and now japanese are busy with whales

  • Louis - 2012-03-09 14:17

    Brilliant, Fantastic, Absolutely Magnificant! Now to stop them completely, FOREVER! Bravo to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society! Well done guys and girls, you make us proud.

  • Noelle - 2012-03-09 15:21

    They are very short-sighted for a seemingly "bright" nation!!

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-03-09 16:37

    No Hans, they are not. Even though killing such a majestic animal is horrible, Minke whales are not endangered, or even threatened. Fin Whales on the other hand, are listed as endangered, but still have a population of about 100k.

      Peter - 2012-03-09 19:52

      Glad you corrected the spelling - is it that difficult for a journalist to get it right! A mink is a furry animal like a mongoose, quite different to a whale one would say. arne, is it not scary they are then even allowed a quota of fin whales? ONE - that paints a scary picture, if it is an indication of the current status of the species.

      arne.verhoef - 2012-03-10 17:59

      Peter, unfortunately, the Japanese don't care. Seashepherd is a terrorist organisation, and I do not condone their actions, but what other alternative is there? Diplomacy does not work, not with Japan buying over little African and Caribbean countries. Remove the clause "except for scientific purposes" Or limit it to a grant system, where, say, certain, qualifying universities/institutions, are granted one, maybe two animals a year. One of the zoologists in our department works extensively on Orca, yet, has never had the need to kill one 'for research purposes' Also, plenty of species that are on endangered lists get harvested often, so one can not take a species' status as offering it protection, and most certainly not when there's money involved.

  • Peter - 2012-03-09 19:47

    Since we stopped whaling, the increase in the whale population off our coast is very noticeable. The Humpbacks have become a tourist attraction off the KZN coast, and the Southern Rights off the Cape coast. Wonder if any would have been left if we continued. I remember as a child visiting the whaling station at Durban, all the Sperm whales busy being butchered. Was not a nice site for a child. Good for the fisherman though, they used to catch Great Whites off South Pier. Durban beaches had a real shark threat in those days.

      Peter - 2012-03-10 15:54

      Would be interesting to get some sort of explanation as to why my comment is received negatively? Someone having fun out there?

  • Marna - 2012-03-10 06:54

    So maybe Fukushima Daiichi was Mother Nature's revenge on Japan.

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-03-11 06:20

    Sink the Japs no need to hunt these animals,I still think the Chinese is a bigger problem they have no problem eating everything incl your dog and the will strip natural resorces on an industrial scale.

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