Saturday, March 10, 2012

Japan recalls its whaling fleet from the Southern Ocean

From Radio Australia News: Japan recalls its whaling fleet from the Southern Ocean

Japan's Fisheries agency has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the country's whaling fleet is heading home, after catching less than a third of its quota in the Antarctic.

That's despite the fleet getting an extra 31.9 million US dollars this year.

Speaking to the ABC in Tokyo the Japanese Fisheries Agency revealed the whaling fleet finished its hunt three days ago and is now heading for home.

The agency also confirmed the fleet caught 266 minke whales, less than 30 % of its quota.

The whalers also harpooned a single fin whale, despite having a quota of 50.

The Sea Shepherd conservation group which harassed the fleet in the Antarctic says it's a massive victory for whales.

Despite receiving a special budget boost of 31.9 million US dollars to fend off Sea Shepherd, the Japanese whalers were repeatedly obstructed by the activists.

The Australian government says it welcomes Japan's decision to recall its whaling fleet from the Southern Ocean.

It says it remains opposed to commercial whaling, including Japan's so called "scientific" whaling program.

The Australian government says Australia will continue its efforts to achieve a permanent end to whaling through the International Court of Justice.

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