Japan to catch 60 minke whales for `research`
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 13:36
  
Tokyo: The Fisheries Agency has said that a fleet of five vessels will catch 60 minke whales off the northeastern coast of Japan starting Thursday as part of "research whaling" for 2010.

The fleet of four fishing boats and one research vessel will hunt for the whales within a radius of 50 miles from the departure port of Ayukawa in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, through early June, the agency said.

From this year, the operation, which will end when the target number -- the same as last year -- is caught, will be carried out by an association of fishermen commissioned by the agency.

Coastal research whaling had been conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research, a nonprofit research organisation in Tokyo, until last year.

The agency has farmed out the operation to the association in expectation that the International Whaling Commission would approve the resumption of commercial whaling at its general meeting in June, sources said.

The hunt for minke whales this year is aimed at collecting scientific data by examining the varieties and amounts of foods inside the whales' stomach, the agency said.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 13:36


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