Whale hunters set sail in secret to avoid G20 clash

Japanese whalers and government officials hailed the resumption of the hunts despite global criticism

Japanese whalers and government officials hailed the resumption of the hunts despite global criticism

Environmentalists and whale fans also can despair, but some assume Japan's decision also can truly be a face-saving admission that its prolonged, pricey advertising campaign to reverse the IWC's moratorium is over.

A ship carrying a captured minke whale arrives at a port in Kushiro, Japan, on Monday.

The resumption of traditional whaling may end up saving money for the government money and saving the lives of many whales, experts say. Conservationists have been encouraging whale watching in these countries as an alternative to hunting the animals for food.

Whale hunting used to be banned in 1986 by the IWC in effect of dwindling whale populations, with a worldwide moratorium positioned on the apply to allow the species to rebound. It was winched up from the vessel and taken off to be weighed and butchered.

Activists said the hunts had no scientific value, and Japan made no secret of the fact that meat from whales caught on those hunts ended up sold for consumption. Both countries did catch whales in the 2017-2018 season, but well below their catch quotas. Japan pulled out last December from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which has imposed a ban on commercial whaling.

Whaling vessels were also leaving on Monday morning from other ports including in Shimonoseki in western Japan.

The whalers will be allowed to catch 227 whales in Japanese waters - 150 Bryde's, 52 minkes and 25 sei whales.

Japan has lengthy maintained that eating whale is a necessary part of its custom and that practically all species are no longer endangered. We remain opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called "scientific" whaling.

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Environmentalists said the launch was delayed until after a summit of leaders of G20 major economies that Japan hosted, but whaling proponents have denied this.

Humane Society International slammed the resumption of commercial hunts.

"Move back! It would be bad if there's an accident", said one.

Whales are straight littered with native climate commerce, plastic pollution, oil exploration, industrial fishing and habitat loss, the organization talked about.

"People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my home town". Annual ask for whale meat has plummeted from 200,000 to 5,000 tonnes (the same to roughly 40 grams per particular person). Even whaling supporters say building demand will take time.

"What we are seeing is the beginning of the end of Japanese whaling", said Patrick Ramage, director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

"It's a good decision for whales, it's a good decision for Japan, and it's a good decision for global marine conservation", he said.

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