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Local fishermen corner a pod of bottlenose dolphins in a bay in the town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan earlier this year. Kyodo

Japan intends to continue Antarctic whaling

The anti-whaling group Sea Shepard has thwarted Japan’s efforts to hunt whales already this year.

JAPAN INTENDS TO send its whaling fleet back to the Antarctic this year, according to a report.

The country halted its whaling mission in the Antarctic for the rest of the season because of harassment by the anti-whaling activists Sea Shepard back in February with money problems and new rules at sea seen as further obstacles to them continuing the practice.

But Japan’s deputy commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has told BBC News that the country is discussing the possibility of sending its fleet back to the Antarctic this year but that the chief concern was the return of the protest group Sea Shepard.

“Simply put, the attack from Sea Shepherd organisation is the one we have to consider how we prevent that to happen again,” Joji Morishita said.

Japanese delegates at a meeting of the IWC showed what they says was evidence of Sea Shepard attacking their whaling vessels with projectiles and using their boats to ram the whalers.

Earlier this year Japan called for international action against Sea Shepard imploring the countries where Sea Shepard uses ports and has boats registered to take action.

Japan has used regulations that permit hunting for scientific research to kill up to 945 whales in Antarctic waters during the southern winter season.

Read more from Richard Black on BBC News >

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