already on the menu . . .
Researchers on both sides of the Pacific said the questions surrounding the nine whales demonstrates how little is known about them. They condemned whale-hunting, even for scientific purposes.
In 1986, the International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling. Japan, however, takes hundreds of whales a year under a scientific exemption, usually selling them for food and other products after they are studied.
Norway has ignored the ban since 1993 and resumed commercial hunting, while Iceland resumed scientific whaling this year.
Yamada said the new species is a small population, which should be studied more carefully before countries decide to harvest the whales for research.
Roman agreed, saying, "research whaling could actually endanger this exciting discovery."