SAVE THE WHALES: Australian lawyers asked the United Nations' highest court to ban whaling in the waters around Antarctica, calling Japan's annual hunt of whales commercial slaughter of marine mammals dressed up as science.
HARPOON THE WHALES: Japan's whaling fleet makes annual trips to harpoon minke and fin whales for what Tokyo argues is scientific research. The government claims the research is needed to provide data on whale populations, so that the international ban on commercial hunts can be re-examined or lifted, based on scientific studies.
SCIENCE OR SLAUGHTER? Australia's agent to the court, Bill Campbell, said it's not necessary to kill more than 900 whales each year to conduct scientific research. He said it's not necessary to kill any whales at all. Australia calls the research claim a front for a commercial hunt that puts whale meat, considered a delicacy in Japan, on plates across the country.