Japanese Hunters Kill 122 Pregnant Minke Whales

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Japanese hunters recently killed 122 pregnant minke whales as part of a so-called field survey, the BBC reported.

Out of those, 122 were pregnant and a total of 114 were only juvenile whales, as revealed by documents from a meeting of the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) scientific committee this month. More than 100 of the whales killed were "immature", according to a report released by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In a meeting of IWC in 2010, countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland asked for the ban on commercial whaling be lifted.

Australia slammed the Japanese whalers.

The whalers killed one in every three of the protected marine mammals they spotted.

In order to estimate the age of a whale, Japan says only "lethal sampling methods" are adequate. "This meant that even at our best years down there sending all of our fleet and global funding, we would struggle to save any whales, however by default due to our work over the years we are saving over 700 whales each year", Jeff Hansen concluded. There's really very little Japan could do about it. Sea shepherd is also calling on the Australian government to send a vessel to oppose whaling by Japan, this is the promise they made to the people of Australia and what the majority of Australians want to see done, " stated Mr Hansen.

Under Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, signed in 1946, countries can "kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research", and this is the rule Japan says it follows in its hunts.

Tokyo cancelled the hunt the following year, but resumed it in 2016, also killing around 300 minke whales.

Today, whale meat can be found in supermarkets, but it is not popular with consumers, in part because it is known to be high in contaminants such as mercury.

This allegedly self-serving attempt to revive the commercial whaling industry in Japan and other instances of Japanese vessels killing whales in protected waters, has led to global condemnation for the atrocious practice.

Japan cut down its catch by two-thirds under its new research plan, and has stuck to taking about 330 whales each year. Japan responded by revoking its recognition of the International Court of Justice as an arbiter of whaling disputes, according to the Maritime Executive.

But consumption has declined significantly in recent decades, with much of the population saying they rarely or never eat whale meat.

"Research effort began 60 minutes after sunrise and ended 60 minutes before sunset, with a maximum 12 hour per day", said the report, prepared by representatives of the Institute of Cetacean Research - a whale research agency that is associated with Japan's fisheries ministry.

"It is further demonstration, if needed, of the truly gruesome and unnecessary nature of whaling operations, especially when non-lethal surveys have been shown to be sufficient for scientific needs", said the group's senior programme manager, Alexia Wellbelove.

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