World Bulletin / News Desk
South Korea angered conservationists on Wednesday by proposing to conduct whaling for scientific research, a practice that critics say would skirt a global ban on whale hunting.
South Korea announced its proposal at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama City. Critics say the move was modeled on Japan's introduction of scientific whaling after a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.
Japan argues it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry.
"South Korea announced its intention to resume whale hunting for scientific purposes," said Tomas Guardia, Panama's representative to the international body.
"We are worried about this proposal because it goes against the ban ... we don't support whale hunting under any circumstances," Guardia said.
South Korea said its fishermen were complaining that growing whale populations were depleting fishing stocks, an assertion that the World Wildlife Fund said had no scientific basis.
Environmental activists say the term scientific whaling is a thinly veiled ruse to allow hunting in countries where whale meat is a popular delicacy. South Korea sells whale meat from animals accidentally caught in fishing nets.
"It's an absolute shock this happened at this meeting and it's an absolute disgrace because to say that hunting whales is happening in the name of science is just wrong. Essentially, its commercial whaling in another form," James Lorenz from Greenpeace told Australian television.
Lorenz said South Korea must take its proposal to the Whaling Commission's science committee.
The minke whales that South Korea proposes hunting are considered endangered, the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement.
India launches largest successful satellite mission as it continues focus on space reseach
Court-ordered payout comes on same day company pulls fake refugee rescue app
Driverless minibus called Olli, capable of carrying up to 12 people, released by IBM and Local Motors
Popular social media network Twitter has broken, with the network's website and mobile apps inaccessible for users worldwide
In April, Germany officially announced a new incentive and investment program to accelerate the adoption of electric cars in the country.
Findings based on laser technology challenge previous theories on urban, water systems around temple complexes
With clean energy, ‘you can reconcile ecology and economy’, says Solar Impulse navigator
A blind Muslim Microsoft engineer has unveiled an AI-powered project that helps him 'see' the world
Google is being accused of using practices aimed at preserve its market dominance
Quantum spin liquid validates theory first suggested in 1973
International Civil Aviation Organization 'recognizes that sub-orbital and outer space flights will foster new tourism and transport market'
A joint European-Russian mission aiming to search for traces of life on Mars blasted off on Monday for the start of a seven-month unmanned space journey to the Red Planet.
Scott Kelly has spent more time in space than any other American and has returned back from his mission
Administrator touts success in planetary study, deep-space experiments, aviation innovation