Whaling Ships Set Sail for Japan’s First Commercial Whale Hunt in 30 Years

By Elaine Lies and Masashi Kato KUSHIRO, Japan, July 1 (Reuters) - Five small ships sailed out of harbor 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. Japan has long said few whale species are endangered, and news in December that it was leaving the International … [Read more...]

Sea Shepherd Embarks on Latest Whale Defense Campaign Against Japanese Whalers

The controversial Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has kicked off its 11th Antarctic whale defense campaign with two Sea Shepherd vessels now on their way to the Southern Ocean to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet. The two vessels, the Steve Irwin and the new Ocean Warrior, departed over the weekend from Melbourne and Hobart, respectively. The vessels are headed for the … [Read more...]

“By Guess or by God:” Catastrophe In The Heart of the Sea

by Colin D. Dewey  In Nantucket, on Aug 5, 1819, the ship Essex: 87 feet at waterline, 238 tons, sailed.  The Essex, an old, tired, ship, began what was planned as a routine two or three year whaling voyage: and the story began the way sea stories have always begun: like Samuel Taylor Coleridge tells it in his Rime of the Ancient Mariner,  'The ship was … [Read more...]

Japan Whaling Fleet Returns from Antarctic Hunt with 333 Whales

TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) - Japan's whaling fleet returned on Thursday from its Antarctic hunt after a year-long suspension with a take of more than 300 whales, including pregnant females. The International Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that Japan's whaling in the Southern Ocean should stop, prompting it to call off its hunt that season, although it said at the time it … [Read more...]