South Korea To Use “Science” Loophole for Whaling

Posted July 4th, 2012 at 10:35 pm (UTC-5)
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South Korea says it plans to hunt whales under regulations permitting whaling only for scientific research.

South Korea announced its intentions Wednesday at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama.

The announcement was immediately condemned by anti-whaling nations, including Australia and New Zealand.

South Korea says its hunting of minke whales would take place near the Korean coast, but did not specify how many animals it plans to catch.

Joon-Suk Kang, the head of the South Korean delegation, said the program was necessary to answer questions about minke whale stocks that non-lethal research had been unable to solve.

The International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986 out of concern for the survival of the species. But limited whaling for scientific research is allowed. So far only Japan has continued the practice under this exception.

Whaling critics have scoffed at Japan's research claims, noting that whale meat harvested in the hunt is sold to the Japanese public.