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Japan Considers End to Antarctic Whaling

July 30, 2011
"If we cannot gain understanding on the research whaling in the international community, we should scale it down or halt it."
- Fisheries Agency of Japan

For the first time, officials from Japan's fisheries agency have publicly floated the prospect of ending that country's whaling program in the Antarctic.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) established a review panel in April to consider whether or not Japan's Antarctic whaling should continue, following a season in which, citing harassment by Sea Shepherd, the fleet returned home having caught just 170 of its intended 945 whales. The panel's report was published this week; predictably, a majority of its members stated that the "whaling is justified on the basis of an international treaty. It should be continued without yielding to heinous interference." However, the report also included a minority opinion that, "If we cannot gain understanding on the research whaling in the international community, we should scale it down or halt it."

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