The Guardian Newspaper reports that the Japanese whaling fleet that has just set sail to the Southern Oceans has used funds earmarked for disaster relief. The article reports that: “according to campaigners the government used 2.28 billion yen (£19m/US$30m) from the earthquake recovery fund, on top of its existing $6m annual subsidy, to pay for this year’s hunt.”
The whalers plan to kill more than 900 minke whales and about 50 fin whales this season. Commercial whaling was banned in 1986 but the International Whaling Commission (IWC) permits Japan to kill a limited number of whales for “scientific research”. Sea Shepherd is sending three ships to the Southern Ocean to try and intercept and frustrate the whalers’ aims as a part of Operation Divine Wind.