More than 300 whales have been killed by the Japanese whaling fleet since November. The news is advanced by The Guardian newspaper, which reports that the animals were killed during one of several annual whaling expeditions to the Antarctic.

Beginning last November and ending last Friday, this annual whale hunt that has killed more than 300 animals is, however, being defended by local authorities. Argument used? “Study the Antarctic Ocean ecosystem as well as the whale population living there,” the Japanese Fisheries Agency said.

Criticism by environmental groups was not expected, as was the case with the Humane Society International, with accusations that the controversial “scientific investigation” was only guided by economic and commercial objectives, since the murdered whales were intended to be sold as food.

A target of criticism from the highest international bodies, in the case of the International Court of Justice, whaling in Japan continues year after year. “Every year that Japan persists in this whaling in the name of science, it is another year that these wonderful creatures are sacrificed without mercy or pity,” laments Kitty Block, vice president of the Humane Society International.

With the argument of scientific investigation, the Tokyo authorities are exploring a small flaw in the law that has banned this practice since 1986, by order of the UN International Court of Justice. Local officials argue that they are only interested in the scientific part of the issue, never for commercial reasons, and they only continue this practice year after year to prove that the population of whales living on the spot is not in danger of extinction.

Already in 2016, on a mission that lasted 115 days off the Antarctic Ocean, the whaling fleet of Japan was responsible for the death of about 330 whales, which included a group of 200 females waiting for babies.

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