As a Japanese whaling fleet churned to Antarctic waters, a furious New Zealand prime minister today blasted the "deception" of Japan's claim that the killing ships will conduct research rather than commercial whaling. It would be better "if the Japanese stayed home," said Helen Clark. The fleet will catch over 1,000 whales, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Meat of whales caught during such expeditions ends up in Japanese supermarkets and restaurants. This year's hunt has drawn particular anger from New Zealand and environmentalists because the Japanese for the first time added the vulnerable humpback whale to the expedition list. The fleet plans to catch 50 humpbacks from an Antarctic whale sanctuary.