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Japan Killed More Than 300 Whales in the Southern Ocean

Source: The Guardian/Staff - March 25, 2016 in Environment

Japan Killed More Than 300 Whales in the Southern Ocean
Photo: Customs and Border Protection, Commonwealth of Australia

Japan has confirmed that more than 300 whales, including 200 pregnant females, were slaughtered in the country’s latest whaling mission in the Southern Ocean.

The kill was confirmed by Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research as its ships returned from their “scientific” expedition in the Antarctic region on Thursday.

Four ships were sent to the Antarctic region over a period of 115 days from 1 December last year and killed 333 minke whales.

Japan’s actions are in defiance of international criticism and despite a 2014 UN legal decision that ruled so-called scientific whaling activity in the Southern Ocean was a front for commercial hunts.

Darren Kindleysides, the director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said the 2014/15 summer was the first time in 70 years Japan had stopped its whaling program – but the break was short-lived.

He said Australia’s leading international experts had examined Japan’s new so-called scientific research program this year and found it was also a guise for killing whales and a breach of international law.

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