Despite the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Japan to end its Antarctic whaling program, a Japanese whaling fleet killed 30 minke whales off the country's northeast coast, according to the Japanese Fisheries Agency.
This marks Japan's first whaling campaign since the IJC implemented its ruling in March, after the governments of Australia and New Zealand brought Japan to the court. The IJC's ruling states that the annual Japanese whaling excursion was commercial and not for research, as whalers claimed, according to a Discovery News report.
The latest hunt is a result of the court's decision to address only Japan's JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic; the decision made no mention of the country's annual hunts in the Pacific, according to the Independent. So, although Japan has agreed to cease whaling activity in the Antarctic, other whaling endeavors will continue.
Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, expressed intent to boost efforts in resurging commercial whaling and Japan's right to hunt. His country's arguments state that whaling is crucial to understanding worldwide whale populations and that whaling is a facet of Japanese culture that is misunderstood by the international community.