On the eve of the Japan Sea Memorial Day, a Japanese tourist boat crew is making an unguarded call on one of the world’s most iconic marine habitats.
The sightseeing vessel Osaka Sightseeing Boat is heading towards the Whales of the Sea, an area of the sea that is home to the world-famous sperm whales, one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions.
The sperm whales are among the few animals that live in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which stretches from the southernmost point of Hokkaido to the northernmost point on the coast of the Japanese archipelago.
The area was created by Japan’s colonial-era military to allow it to maintain its military and industrial capacity on the island nation.
The whaling industry is still thriving in Japan, with many companies operating in the area.
But now a Japanese tourism company is being blamed for bringing down a whale in the waters off the coast, while activists say they are targeting the whales because they have been harmed by Japanese fishing vessels.
The Japanese whaling fleet has been operating in international waters since the mid-1970s, with more than 500 whales killed in 2014.
A Japanese government report released last year claimed that the whales are the largest commercial and recreational species in the world.
They have been found dead in shallow water off the southern end of HokKaido, and the Japanese government said last year that it was concerned about the number of whales that could be killed.
“We’ve been making these calls and they’ve been answered with ‘We need to save whales, whales, whale’,” said Masaki Yano, a whale-lover and marine conservationist from Tokyo.
“They’re not just whales, they’re dolphins, sea lions, whales.
It’s all part of this story, and it’s all going to be a mystery to people until we find the whales and save the animals.”
Yano said he believes the whale call on the Osaka Boat was made to help those whales, which are often targeted by Japanese fishermen and trawlers.
One of the whales was found dead on the southern shore of the Whitsundays in April, while the second whale, which was believed to be the female, was found a few days later.
Both whales were killed in a single strike, but investigators said it could have been the result of a collision.
“It’s very hard to find out if the whale that was killed was hit by a single blow from a fishing boat or by trawler, but we think it was probably hit by both,” said Yano.
He said the whale was killed because it was too slow for the fishing boats to catch it, and because the fishing boat captain did not care to stop the whale.
This is the second time this year that whales have been hit by Japanese whalers, according to Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry (METE).
In February, a tuna boat was caught in an area where the whales were being hunted, and was subsequently hit by the same fishing boat.