Japanese whalers set out today on a quest to hunt more than 1000 whales, including 50 endangered humpback whales.
A party atmosphere, complete with brass bands and beer toasts by the boat crews, accompanied the sailing of Japan’s whaling fleet. Three whalers were accompanied by a large factory ship, which will process and pack the meat of whales. The hunt will last until April. Scientists deny the trip is about the whale meat, however, and say that their research is necessary to understand the whales.
Japan is facing increased pressure internationally, as well as from traditional anti-whaling and environmental groups, which have vowed to interrupt the hunt. There are fears the fleet may target a real live Moby Dick. Some believe the whalers will target Migaloo, the world’s only known white humpback whale.
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