Greenpeace hunts whalers

Environmentalists and political leaders around the globe are calling on Japan to stop a whaling fleet destined for Antarctica to hunt more than 1,000 whales, including up to 50 majestic humpback whales.

Japan’s Fisheries Agency claims the hunt is for scientific purposes, but critics, including the Australian government, say the purported research is a ruse—commercial hunting is the real intent. Most of the whale meat reportedly is sold to markets and restaurants.

In response, Greenpeace has launched a hunt of its own. The environmental group’s ship, the Esperanza, is now searching for the fleet.

According to dozens of media reports, the fleet is looking to kill upwards of 900 minke whales and up to 50 endangered fin whales. This year, for the first time, humpbacks are on the list.

Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986, but Japan has been allowed to hunt the creatures for scientific purposes. In that time, the country has killed nearly 10,500 of the animals.