1 July 2019
Five small ships sailed out of harbour on Monday in Japan's first commercial whale hunt in more than three decades, a move that has aroused global condemnation and fears for the fate of whales. The ships, which are set to be joined by vessels from the southern port of Shimonoseki, will spend much of the summer hunting for minke and Baird's beaked whales.
Japan has long said few whale species are endangered, and news in December that it was leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to resume hunting was the culmination of years of campaigns by industry supporters and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose constituency includes a city that has long whaled. This year's quota, including minkes, sei whales and Bryde's whales, was about 220, the Nikkei newspaper said.
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