Japan has caught 30 minke whales in its first hunt since the International Court of Justice ordered the halt of its annual expedition in the Antarctic.
A report by the Japanese Fisheries Agency said that 30 minke whales had been killed during the April-June whaling season as part of its “research hunts” in the north-west Pacific Ocean.
They also said that another group of whalers were still hunting in a more remote part of the ocean.
The northwestern Pacific hunt is one of two research whaling programs that Japan has conducted since an international ban on commercial whaling was enacted in 1986.
The International Court of Justice in March ruled Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was in actuality not scientific in nature and, as such, violated international law and needed to stop.
The court said the so-named research program produced little actual research and failed to prove why it needed to kill so many whales for the study.
The ruling gave Japan the option of retooling the program, so the country is indeed hoping to revise and then resume it — after suspending the Antarctic hunt originally scheduled for next season.
Then again, any revisions to the program will assuredly face intense scrutiny from the world community.
During the 2013-14 season, Japan caught 251 minke whales in the Antarctic, just a quarter of its overall goal, along with 224 others through its program in the in the northern Pacific.
Japan nearly halved the Pacific catch target for this year to 210 whales.