Posted by: The ocean update | April 28, 2015

Harpooned minke whale found (South Korea)

April 28th, 2015. A minke whale harpooned on four separate parts of its body has been discovered trapped in a fishing net near Ulsan, police said Tuesday.

Police say they think that the whale, which is 6.3-meter-long and 3.6-meter-in-circumference, was a victim of illegal whaling off Ulsan.

The mammal was caught 23 kilometers off the coast of the coastal city around 8 a.m.

The discovery came 10 months after a mammal of similar size was caught near the area, police said.

“We think the rampant whale fishing results from the high demand for the mammal, which fetches tens of millions of won in auctions,” a police officer said. “That’s why some trawlers call it ‘the lotto of the sea.’ With the annual Ulsan Whale Festival only a month away, the illegal fishing is likely to increase.”

Killing or intentionally capturing whales is illegal here.

Anyone who came to discover whales either caught in a fishing net or floating in the sea dead are bound by law to report it to the police.

But the National Fisheries Research and Development (NFRD) under the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries issues certificates to anyone who discovers a dead one, allowing the right to sell meat from the mammal at auction.

According to an NFRD report, an average of 1,100 whales is caught by such methods annually.

The certificates are also managed by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs. A total of 80 shops sell whale meat in Ulsan.



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