When whaling was widespread, minke whales were generally ignored because they are a particularly small species of whale. After the larger fin, blue and sei whales were overhunted, however, whalers began paying more attention to the small minke whale. The Japanese still currently catch Minke whales and others under a special research clause. They say they are doing research to prove that commercial whaling is sustainable; many people believe this “research” is still whaling just with a legal cloak thrown over it.
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