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Researchers confirm that as yet unnamed whale sighted by Japanese fishermen was previously unknown to science.
Scientists have confirmed that a mysterious, unnamed species of beaked whale roams the northern Pacific Ocean. Sightings of the creature, which has a bulbous head and a beak like a porpoise, had been reported by Japanese fishermen, who call them karasu or ravens, but it was previously unknown to science. It has yet to be given a formal scientific name.
Japan has announced it will resume whaling in the Antarctic early next year after a break of more than a year.
The decision comes despite an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Japan cease all whaling.
The Japanese government says it has taken into account the court ruling and its “scientific” whaling programme will be much smaller.
But the announcement has been condemned by environmental groups and the Australian and UK governments.
“We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research’,” said Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt.
“We are deeply disappointed with Japan’s decision to restart whaling in the Southern Ocean,” said the UK environment ministry, Defra. “This undermines the global ban on commercial whaling which the UK strongly supports.”
[Original article came from the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34952538 ]