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.
Waves of cyberattacks disrupt services for many East Coast US Internet users
Critics slam company after claims it allowed NSA to scan all users’ emails
Shenzhou-11 to take 2 astronauts into space, dock with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 within 2 days
A German politician has said Facebook should pay for failing to remove online hate comment
For the first time in over 120 years, a design patent case will be heard by the US supreme court.
Toyota is usually associated with cars, but it has been investing millions in robotics and Kirobo is its first commercial foray into the sector.
A joint Mongolian-Japanese expedition found the giant print, which measures 106 centimetres (42 inches) long and 77 centimetres wide.
Current conditions may ‘commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius’ in few thousand years, author says
Cyber-attack in 2014 likely the largest data breach in history
Photographs, videos, polls, quoted tweets no longer count toward 140-character limit
2.5 million phones recalled days before Apple introduces iPhone 7
Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to continue effort to provide satellite for Africa
3.7-billion-year-old rock suggests life began soon after Earth’s formation
Facebook will target advertising to Whatsapp users but will steer clear of third party advertising content
The global seed giant Monsanto is pulling its application to introduce GMO cotton seed after a row with the Indian government, which is demanding the company share its technology with local seed companies.
Proxima b could be visited by spacecraft within next 100 years