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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 10:38 GMT
Dead whale left outside embassy
Fin whale in Greenpeace protest outside Japanese embassy in Berlin
The demonstration drew a crowd of curious onlookers
A huge beached whale has been dumped outside the Japanese embassy in Berlin. in a Greenpeace anti-whaling protest.

The controversial environmental activists hauled the fin whale to Berlin from the Baltic coast after finding it beached on a sandbank.

The dead whale measured 17m (56ft) long and weighed 20 tonnes.

Activists are trying to demonstrate that there is no need to kill the mammals for research - as Japan does - because cadavers can be found.

Japan is expected to kill 935 minke whales in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary during the first four months of 2006.

Fin whale in Greenpeace protest
The whale got stuck in the Baltic's shallow waters
The International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, but Japan resumed whale hunting the following year.

Critics dispute Japan's claim to be whaling for scientific purposes, saying whale meat often ends up on restaurant tables.

A Greenpeace banner in Berlin read: "Science doesn't need harpoons! Stop the senseless whaling!"

The fin whale in Berlin - between 10 and 20 years old - is believed to have got lost in the Baltic while looking for herring. Its normal habitat is the North Atlantic.

The whale is due to be taken to Stralsund on the coast for scientific examination after the Greenpeace protest.

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