Japan Whaling Fleet Kills 440 Minke Whales in Controversial Hunt, Despite International Protest

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from International Fund for Animal Welfare

    TOKYO, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Japan's whaling fleet is returning to port
 this week, concluding what may be the country's most controversial whale hunt
 since the International Whaling Commission (IWC) outlawed commercial whaling
 in 1986, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org) said
 today.
     Despite IWC criticism, international protests, and the threat of trade
 sanctions by the US Government, Japan went ahead with its annual whale hunts
 for their 2000/2001 whaling season, citing a loop-hole in IWC regulations,
 which allow for the taking of whales for 'research' purposes. Japanese
 government officials have confirmed that the whaling fleet has killed 440
 minke whales since mid-November 2000. This follows the taking of 43 Bryde's,
 40 minke, and five sperm whales in this season's earlier hunt. This is the
 first whaling season in which the Japanese government has included the
 endangered Bryde's and sperm whales.
     The 440 minke whales killed by Japanese whalers, were hunted in the
 Southern Ocean Sanctuary, an internationally protected whale sanctuary located
 in Antarctica and established, in-part, through the efforts of former US
 Vice-President Gore.
     "As Japan's whaling fleet returns this week from another hunt, we are
 reminded again of Japan's continued disregard of the spirit and intent of IWC
 regulations," said IFAW President Fred O'Regan. "While Japan claims the hunt
 is for purely 'research' purposes, its factory ship is due to return to port
 tomorrow with hundreds of tons of packaged whale meat ready for the country's
 commercial meat markets."
     "This hunt vividly illustrates Japan's determination to establish a
 commercial whaling industry under the guise of IWC scientific whaling,"
 O'Regan said. "The IWC passed two resolutions at its 2000 meeting criticizing
 Japan for this action, and urging Japan not to continue with its annual whale
 hunts. Despite this, Japan has expanded its whaling take this season to
 include endangered Bryde's and sperm whales.
     "The global community can not allow Japan to continue to flout
 international agreements under the guise of 'science'," O'Regan emphasized.
 
     Editors: For more information visit www.stopwhalingnow.com
 
 

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare
    TOKYO, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Japan's whaling fleet is returning to port
 this week, concluding what may be the country's most controversial whale hunt
 since the International Whaling Commission (IWC) outlawed commercial whaling
 in 1986, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org) said
 today.
     Despite IWC criticism, international protests, and the threat of trade
 sanctions by the US Government, Japan went ahead with its annual whale hunts
 for their 2000/2001 whaling season, citing a loop-hole in IWC regulations,
 which allow for the taking of whales for 'research' purposes. Japanese
 government officials have confirmed that the whaling fleet has killed 440
 minke whales since mid-November 2000. This follows the taking of 43 Bryde's,
 40 minke, and five sperm whales in this season's earlier hunt. This is the
 first whaling season in which the Japanese government has included the
 endangered Bryde's and sperm whales.
     The 440 minke whales killed by Japanese whalers, were hunted in the
 Southern Ocean Sanctuary, an internationally protected whale sanctuary located
 in Antarctica and established, in-part, through the efforts of former US
 Vice-President Gore.
     "As Japan's whaling fleet returns this week from another hunt, we are
 reminded again of Japan's continued disregard of the spirit and intent of IWC
 regulations," said IFAW President Fred O'Regan. "While Japan claims the hunt
 is for purely 'research' purposes, its factory ship is due to return to port
 tomorrow with hundreds of tons of packaged whale meat ready for the country's
 commercial meat markets."
     "This hunt vividly illustrates Japan's determination to establish a
 commercial whaling industry under the guise of IWC scientific whaling,"
 O'Regan said. "The IWC passed two resolutions at its 2000 meeting criticizing
 Japan for this action, and urging Japan not to continue with its annual whale
 hunts. Despite this, Japan has expanded its whaling take this season to
 include endangered Bryde's and sperm whales.
     "The global community can not allow Japan to continue to flout
 international agreements under the guise of 'science'," O'Regan emphasized.
 
     Editors: For more information visit www.stopwhalingnow.com
 
 SOURCE  International Fund for Animal Welfare