Japan exploits a loophole in a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling to kill the animals for what it calls scientific research, while admitting the meat from the hunt ends up on dinner plates.
The confrontation with Sea Shepherd had forced the Japanese fleet to suspend whaling for several days, but a spokesman for Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research said the Yushin Maru No. 2 would resume the hunt as soon as possible.
"The Yushin Maru is heading back towards the rest of the research vessels and yes, when it has the opportunity, it will continue with the programme," Glenn Inwood told AFP.
Greenpeace said its ship the Esperanza had noted the Yushin Maru No. 2 leaving the whaling grounds to rendezvous to the north with its mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, claiming this as a victory.
"We are very happy to see yet another of the fleet has left the whaling grounds, and we will do everything we can to ensure they do not return to hunting," Greenpeace campaigner Sakyo Noda said from the Esperanza.
Greenpeace described the mother ship as a "factory ship" where the whales are processed and said its campaigners had seen whales that appeared to be safe." Yahoo news
You have to wonder if the Japanese think the world really believes them to be doing "research" with regard to whales or merely harvesting hundred pound steaks. What sort of "research" would that be? Perhaps it is the same sort of "research" that Canadian "researchers" perform on baby fur seals every year. You know, the kind that is done by bashing their heads in with clubs and then skinning them. That kind.
Whaling once served some useful purpose. Whale oil lit the lamps of the world. I haven’t seen any whale oil lamps lately. Maybe someone should harpoon a few of these ships.
When the American Civil war ended, CSS Shenandoah was in the Bering Sea capturing and burning Yankee whaling ships. The little remembered high seas raiders of that navy sank a lot of whaling ships. The New England whaling industry never recovered from the losses.
19th century ecological activists! What a thought. pl