Japanese whalers eye off home waters

A Japanese whaling expert is concerned Japan may compensate for a lower-than-usual haul of whales in the Southern Ocean by increasing whale and dolphin hunting off its coast.

Japanese whalers called off their annual hunt in February – a month early – citing harassment by anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd.

Sea Shepherd predicts the Japanese will not return to waters off Antarctica next year.

But Jun Morikawa, an academic at Rakuno Gakuen University and the author of a book about Japanese whaling, says he is concerned that because fewer whales were killed in the Southern Ocean, Japan may want to hunt more whales and dolphins in its own waters.

„In order to compensate the loss of the Antarctica [catch] they might try to increase the number of catches in the north-west Pacific, then along with the coastal dolphins,“ he said.

Mr Morikawa says the number of dolphins slaughtered jumped dramatically when an international moratorium on whaling took effect in 1986. ….

Source and more: ABCNews 08 March 2011