Japan’s Whaling Mothership Docks in Sendai After 1st Mission; Team Catches 15 Bryde’s Whales off Tohoku Region, Hokkaido

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Kangei Maru enters Sendai Shiogama Port in Sendai on Sunday.

SENDAI — Japan’s newest whaling mothership, the first one to be built domestically in 73 years, arrived at Sendai Shiogama Port in Sendai after completing its first mission.

The Kangei Maru, which is 113 meters long and 21 meters wide, caught whales off the coast of the Tohoku region and Hokkaido.

The meat from 15 Bryde’s whales, which were frozen and preserved on board, was landed at the port on Sunday.

The ship, built for a Tokyo-based whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Co., was completed in March.

The stern slipway used to haul in whales has been redesigned at an angle of 18 degrees, compared to 35 degrees on the previous mothership, making it possible to catch large whales that are about 70 tons.

Previously, the meat was cut up on the deck. The new vessel is equipped with a temperature-controlled area, where the meat is cut and then stored in 40 freezer containers, each with a capacity of 15 tons.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The temperature-controlled space on the Kangei Maru where the meat is cut up

The Kangei Maru, which left Tokyo Port on May 25, caught 15 Bryde’s whales through Friday. The combined weight of the whales was about 254 tons.

The ship is scheduled to depart for its second operation on Thursday.