Greenpeace takes on Japan in anti-whaling campaign

A spokesperson said two ships equipped with a helicopter, speed boats and hi-tech communications equipment would leave Cape Town today for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at the start of a 14-month expedition. The campaign is to target whaling ships after Tokyo said it intended to double its catch of minke whale for the purposes of scientific research.

Greenpeace said the Japanese are planning to catch 935 whales and it disputes claims that the whales are being caught for scientific research, saying the hunts are merely to satisfy national demand for whale meat.

"Even though the ban on commercial whaling has been agreed, the international community has failed to stop the hunt," said Shane Rattenbury of Greenpeace's Oceans campaign, said.

Some 60 Greenpeace activists from 20 countries will be on board the ships, which they hope to position between the harpoons and the whales.

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