New Delhi :
Japan has slaughtered 300 whales in its latest whaling mission in the Southern Ocean. According to the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research, 333 minke whales have been killed including more than 200 pregnant females as part of this year’s Antarctic whale hunt.
The Japanese research fleet following the 100-day expedition as part of a project that aimed at conducting scientific whaling activities killed these many whales.
However, commercial whale hunting has been banned by the United Nations since 1986, but that excludes killing of whales for scientific research. The Japanese researchers claim that they killed the pregnant whales to determine the age of their maturity.
Though earlier also, the legitimacy of Japan’s programme has been challenged previously by the International Court of Justice in 2014. Following which Japan had stopped the whaling activities for a brief period, but started again in 2015.
The actual reason for killing numerous minke whales has been unclear and the UN has noted that Japanese boats have been overdoing research, while tagging the killings as ‘scientific process.’
It is noteworthy here that whales killed in the current expedition were females since it’s the breeding time in the southern seas.