There harpooners would approach in four boats of their own.
The nets made escape more difficult and, in its struggle to escape, the whale got tired sooner.
In the early 20th century, Jūrō Oka dominated the whale meat market in Japan with assistance and instruction from Norwegian whalers and their leased or purchased ships.
Another boost was provided by the capture of a Russian whaling fleet and subsequent transfer to Toyo Gyo Gyo Co. As Japan's whaling industry expanded into new territory, including Korean waters, ship production and oil processing, Oka's company (renamed Toyo Hogei K.
Japan continued to hunt whales using the scientific research provision in the agreement, and Japanese whaling is currently conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research.
This was allowed under IWC rules, although most IWC members oppose it.
These hunts are a source of conflict between pro- and anti-whaling countries and organizations.
The UN's International Court of Justice, in addition to other Nations, scientists, and environmental organizations consider the Japanese research program to be unnecessary and lacking scientific merit, and describe it as a thinly disguised commercial whaling operation.
Antarctic minke whale have experienced an apparent decline in population, though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that it lacks sufficient data to confer a "threatened" designation on the species of minke whale.
This decline of coastal stocks resulted not only in financial solvency of many industrial groups but also in disputes between feudal domains in western Japan that required the intervention of the shogunate.
As early as the Edo period, Japanese writers may have tried to call attention to overkill by American and Norwegian whalers, whose hunting practices led to depletion of whale populations, and the tragedy called Semi-nagare, an incident in which over 100 Taiji whalers were lost in the ill-timed pursuit of the only two whales they had seen in December 1878.
Wada Chubei Yorimoto established a fishery by organizing the group hunting system in 1606.
Whalers would spot whales from stations along the shore and launch boats to catch them with harpoons and lances.