TOKYO -- Japan says it has caught 195 whales in the Pacific Ocean this season under a research program opposed by activists who call it commercial whaling in disguise.
Japan's Fisheries Agency said Thursday that the fleet harvested 49 minke, 95 sei and 50 Bryde's whales and one sperm whale during its three-month Pacific expedition.
Japan also hunts hundreds of whales in the Antarctic Ocean as part of its research program, which is exempt from a 1986 whaling ban.
Critics say the expeditions are a cover for commercial whaling because meat from the harvest is sold for domestic consumption.
Japan's annual whale catch has declined in recent years due to violent protests by conservationist groups.