Japan Sets "Sustainable" Catch Quota at 227 Whales
Tokyo, July 1 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fisheries Agency said Monday that it has set a catch quota of 227 whales for the rest of this year as the country resumed commercial whaling the same day after 31 years of hiatus.
The whaling quota, calculated according to an International Whaling Commission formula, represents a "level that will not reduce the stock (of whales) even if hunting continues for 100 years," a senior agency official said.
The quota consists of 52 minke whales, 150 Bryde's whales and 25 sei whales, all less than one pct of the estimated stocks of the respective species.
In its research whaling, Japan has annually caught 170 minke whales and 134 sei whales in the northwestern Pacific, including waters around Japan, as well as 333 Antarctic minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean.
The restart of commercial whaling came after Japan withdrew from the IWC on Sunday.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]