Japan continues to forge ahead with its plans for Antarctic whaling, despite an international court ruling that ordered the program to halt. A Japanese official said Wednesday that the country will target minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean next year, reports AFP.
The news comes after the International Court of Justice ruled in March against the whaling program, which proponents say is for "scientific research." The ruling called the hunts "unscientific," saying that Japan failed to justify a scientific rationale for their minke whale catch.
According to the Japanese fisheries official, the planned hunts will collect "data necessary to calculate the number of whale catch allowed (once commercial whaling resumes)," and "construct a model of the Antarctic Ocean ecosystem."
Under a loophole in the International Whaling Commission's 1986 global moratorium on whaling, the country hunts 850 minke whales and up to 50 endangered fin whales alone during its Antarctic "research" hunts, also known as JARPA II.