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Japan

59 minke whales are caught

October 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Japan said it has caught 59 whales -- one short of the maximum allowed by international guidelines -- under a research program that critics say is a cover for commercial whaling.

The annual expedition off the port city of Kushiro ended over the weekend after harvesting 59 minke whales, the Fisheries Agency said in a statement. A maximum of 60 is allowed under the research program authorized by the International Whaling Commission.

Japan and other pro-whaling nations have been pushing for the IWC to revoke the 1986 ban on commercial hunts amid arguments over the number of whales left in the world's oceans.

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