A Japanese whaling fleet has set sail aiming to harpoon humpback whales for the first time in decades.
The fleet is conducting its largest hunt in the South Pacific – it has instructions to kill up to 1,000 whales, including 50 humpbacks.
The humpback hunt is the first since a mid-1960s global ban and has drawn strong protests from environmentalists.
Commercial whaling was stopped in 1986 but Japan is permitted whaling in the name of scientific research.
Four whaling ships, including the lead craft Nisshin Maru, set off from the southern port of Shimonoseki on Sunday.
The 239-man mission plans to kill more than 900 minke whales as well as fin whales and humpbacks, in a South Pacific whale hunt that will run until mid-April.