Notes: The primary study the Japanese whaling fleet is doing on whales is how to shorten their life spans by killing them.

The Associated Press reported on April 3, 2002 that a "Japanese whaling fleet was returning home today carrying 440 minke whales killed during what it called a six-month scientific expedition in Antarctic waters." The report continues, "though the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986 to protect the endangered mammals, Japan has been organizing whaling expeditions for scientific purposes since 1987 under a program authorized by the IWC.

"The Japanese government says that the expeditions are intended to gauge whales' migration patterns, population trends and diet. Opponents say that the program is commercial whaling in disguise, because after the research the whale meat is sold to wholesalers, and most of it ends up in restaurants. Japan has been lobbying hard to get the ban on commercial whaling lifted, and is expected to make another push at a [sic] IWC meeting scheduled this year in the southwestern Japanese port of Shimonoseki. The (Japanese) research whaling program costs Japan about $37 million a year, part of which is paid of by sales of the meat, the (Japanese) government says."

On thing for certain is that the Japanese whaling expeditions are shortening the life spans of the whales killed. The other is that they're a ruse to get around the ban on whaling.