Japanese whaling back in focus as battle lines harden at IWC meeting

Pro- and anti-whaling nations clashed during a key meeting Monday where Japan sought to ease the 30-year-old moratorium on commercial hunts while others pushed for creation of a whale sanctuary in the Atlantic Ocean. Host Slovenia urged compromise for the sake of the marine mammals — some species of which were hunted to near extinction — but member states of the International Whaling Commission soon split into familiar factions. Japan, which conducts a yearly whale hunt in the name of science, which its detractors say is for meat, insisted that stocks of some species have recovered sufficiently to make them fair game. These included the Southern Hemisphere minke whale, Japan’s IWC commissioner, Joji Morishita, told journalists on the conference sidelines. “Many species can actually stand a limited take,” he said. Read the story here 14:04