Japan to resume whaling in the Antarctic despite IWC ruling

A worker sprays water on a Baird's Beaked whale before butchering it, as shadows of a crowd of grade school students and residents are cast on the ground, at Wada port in Minamiboso, southeast of Tokyo, June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Issei Kato/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has decided to resume whaling in the Antarctic Ocean by the end of March after a hiatus since last year, a move likely to prompt international outrage. The International Court of Justice ruled in March last year that Japan's decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season. The Japanese Fisheries Agency on Friday notified the International Whaling Commission that Japan will resume whaling in the 2015/2016 season under a revised plan. The plan, which calls for cutting annual minke whale catches by two-thirds to 333, is scientifically reasonable, the agency said in a document filed with the IWC. Japan began what it calls scientific whaling in 1987, a year after an international whaling moratorium took effect. Japan has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is part of its food culture. (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Kim Coghill)