The minke is the smallest baleen whale. It’s snout is designed to catch plankton and small fish.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to the latest headcount, 333 whales were killed by the Japan fleet. The reasons for the slaughter were purely “scientific” seeing as the United Nations banned the commercial hunting of the mammals.

Precisely 333 whales were killed by the Japan fleet that returned on Thursday. The vessels set sail in December, and they headed out in the Southern Ocean. In four months, they managed to capture 333 whales that only served their study if they were killed.

New Zealand and Australia alongside worldwide animal rights organizations fought to keep the fleet in the port stating that the so-called study invoked by the Japanese is nothing more than a pretext to carry out a bloody tradition.

Last year, this annual scientific mission was halted by the International Justice Court of the United Nations. The officials then stated that the annual hunt that was labeled as a scientific mission was nothing more than a commercial venture.

But the United Nations couldn’t keep the fisherman at bay for too long. Due to the fact that the provisions of the act emitted by the International Commission of Whaling state that scientific missions are allowed to perform research on dead animals, Japan decided to continue to send the hunting party at sea, but under a different name.

Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, was determined to see the expedition back and doing what it was meant to before the country signed the whale protection act. According to the experts, the continuous refusal to give up on the practice is due in large part to a small group of politicians with a lot of power in the government.

The most obvious clue that the scientific mission invoked by the Japanese government is nothing but a ruse is the fact that the meat gathered from the hundreds of whales butchered by the whale hunters doubling as researchers is distributed for general consumption.  Among other places, the meat is served in school cafeterias.

The primary focus of the research conducted by the Japanese government every whale season is seeing if the mammal population has replenished so that commercial hunting could be reinstated. Seeing as 333 whales were killed by the Japan fleet only this year, it may take some time for them to restore the number of individuals.

In the season between 2013 and 2014, the fleet managed to capture 251 minke specimens while in the previous one the number was considerably lower. Historical catches revolve around 850 whales captured during a single expedition.

Image source: Flickr