A LOT OF WHALES


Japan has said it will ask countries where the Sea Shepherd crew might dock to refuse entry to the vessel.

"We are going to request a port closure against it," Chiharu Tsuruoka, an official with the Japanese foreign ministry, said.

"They have obstructed our activities in the past, and their action is extremely dangerous. They are like pirates."

Last month, the whaling fleet came under attack when Sea Shepherd activists lobbed 25 bottles of foul smelling rotten butter at the fleet.

The group has denied Japanese assertions that the Steve Irwin rammed a Japanese ship.

The Japanese whaling fleet plans to harvest up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales this year under International Whaling Commission rules that allow the animals to be killed for research purposes.

But opponents say the Japanese hunt is just a cover for commercial whaling, which was banned in 1986, and that real research into the whales does not necessitate killing them. . . . . . .. . . .WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT EACH WHALE WEIGHS UP TO 10 TONNES,THAT'S A LOT OF WHALE MEAT TO HARVEST FOR "RESEARCH PURPOSES" . . . . .(OVER 1000 WHALES FOR THIS ONE HUNT) . .ONE HOPES THEY DON'T BECOME EXTINCT...(news excerpt from al jazeera)

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