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South Korea put forward a formal proposal to resume whale hunting at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission.
The country has earlier announced that it wants to carry out whaling for scientific purposes. The study of whales' fish consumption has to answer the complaints of the South Korean fishing industry about the reduced amount of fish in the seas due to the growing whale population.
The International Whaling Commission allows whaling for scientific research, despite its focus on the recovery of global whale populations. However, countries that are allowed to hunt whales for scientific purposes often use and sell the whale meat for food.
The US has criticized South Korea's plan, arguing that it does not believe that hunting whales is essential for scientific research. The country is concerned that South Korea will mainly hunt for Minke whales, which are in danger of extinction.