From, you guessed it, the Times:
Japan, under pressure from the United States and Australia, is delaying plans to kill 50 humpback whales as part of its already contentious annual whale harvest in waters near Antarctica.
Why is Japan's "research" so contentious? Well...
Japan and most maritime countries are bound by a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling, but there are exceptions for whales killed for scientific research. For years, Japan has hunted growing numbers of a widening range of species, studying stomach contents and other aspects of the animals taken.
But many countries, environmental groups and biologists oppose the activity, saying the meat ends up sold in Japanese markets. Most of the research, according to many marine biologists, can be done through nonlethal means.
"We're performing research. It's just that the last part is a taste test."