In Pictures: Whaling debate - key species
Sei whale

The sleek, slender Sei whale became a target for whalers in the 1960s when blue, fin and humpback whale stocks began declining. More than 200,000 were killed in the 20th Century, more than half of them in a period of 12 years.

In 2002 Japan revealed plans to catch 50 a year for scientific research. Japan says there are more than 28,000 in the north Pacific - WWF says there are about 9,000.

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