Japan to resume whaling in Antarctic Ocean

  • 28/11/2015

Japan will resume whaling in the Antarctic Ocean by the end of March, after a hiatus since last year, in a move likely to prompt international outrage.

The International Court of Justice last year ruled that Japan's decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season.

But the Japanese Fisheries Agency has notified the International Whaling Commission that Japan will resume whaling in the 2015/2016 season under a revised plan.

The plan, which calls for cutting annual minke whale catches by two-thirds to 333, is scientifically reasonable, the agency said in a document filed with the IWC.

Japan began what it calls scientific whaling in 1987, a year after an international whaling moratorium took effect.

Japan has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is part of its food culture.

Last year, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, during his visit to Auckland, that Kiwis want to see the end of whaling.

Mr Key at the time wouldn't rule out getting the navy involved if Japan breached the court's ruling.