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SHOCK: JAPAN KILLS 200 PREGNANT WHALES

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Jareen Imam | CNN

Japan's whaling fleet has returned with more than 300 whales harvested from Antarctic waters, according to the country's Fisheries Agency.

A four-ship fleet from Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research traveled to the Antarctic Ocean and killed 333 minke whales. Some 230 were female; about 90% of these were pregnant, according to the report.

The research was conducted as part of an effort to understand the minke whale populations in the Antarctic Ocean, the Japanese Ministry of Fisheries said in a statement on its website. The purpose was to study the best methods for managing minke populations, the ministry said. It said there were no incidents with anti-whaling activists.

In the past, opponents, including New Zealand and Australia, have raised concerns about the legitimacy of the scientific research contention. In 2014, the United Nation's International Court of Justice ordered Japan to halt its whaling program, over concerns of its whaling activities in the Antarctic region.

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