Whales Fall as Hunt Resumes

With Greenpeace gone to refuel, fleet harpoons 5 more
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 9:45 AM CST
The Greenpeace protest vessel Esperanza leaves the New Zealand port of Auckland for Antarctic waters, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, determined to find the Japanese whaling fleet. (AP Photo/NZPA,Wayne Drought)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Japanese whalers have resumed their hunt in Antarctic waters, killing at least five whales when protest ships pulled back to refuel, the Australian News Network reports. Witnesses reported seeing the whales harpooned in the Southern Ocean after ships from Greenpeace and another protest group withdrew. In Tokyo, the Australian foreign minister protested the resumed hunt.

Australia is "extremely disappointed" about the expedition, which defies the "wishes of the Australian people," said a spokesman. Anti-whaling groups "want you to think that whales are endangered, but nothing could be further from the truth," the whalers argue. The hunt has been classified as a scientific expedition by Japan, which has a yearly quota to cull 1,000 whales.