Japan’s Fisheries Agency said ships from the country’s whaling fleet returned to port from the Antarctic Ocean with a lower catch than planned after being harassed by anti-whaling campaigners.
The agency said today that several ships report some damage from clashes with the conservationists.
The fleet’s catch was 679 minke whales and one fin whale, below its planned targets of up to 935 minke and 50 fin.
Japan harvests the whales for what it terms research with the permission of the International Whaling Commission.
Opponents say the Japanese research expeditions are a cover for commercial whaling, which was banned in 1986.