April 13, 2009
Japan’s Whaling Hunts Fall Very Short Of Goals
Japan's notorious whaling fleet fell extremely short of their goal after interference caused by anti-whaling activists.
After five months at sea, the six-ship flotilla trapped 680 whales, falling very short of the intended 765 and 935, the agency said.
"It was mainly because of the harassment by the Sea Shepherds," said Shigeki Takaya of the agency's whaling division.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society environmental group beleaguered the ships for 16 days, he noted.
The group's ship repeatedly smashed into the Japanese boats and threw bottles filled with chemicals at the ships.
Japan formally banned commercial whaling in 1986, but started what they refer to as a scientific research whaling program in 1988. Whale meat is sold in a few stores and restaurants.
The agency refused to comment on a new report that Japan is contemplating a reduction in the amount of whales it kills each year.
In reality, the majority of the whale meat ends in Japanese dinners. Australia and other anti-whaling countries frequently charge Tokyo of using the research as a front for commercial hunting.
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