Japan will hunt whales off the northern island of Hokkaido this week with plans to catch up to 51 minkes despite international criticism, the government said on Wednesday. The Fisheries Agency said the coastal whaling is aimed at contributing to resource management by looking into whale’s ecology through analysis of such things as stomach contents and organs. In March 2014, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered Japan to halt what Tokyo calls research whaling in the Antarctic, ruling it contravenes a 1986 moratorium on whale hunting. The decision led Japan to suspend whaling in the Southern Ocean in the previous financial year through March, but the country has said it will resume hunting there later this year. Japan’s whaling is a money-losing operation because most people don’t eat whale meat. However, vested interests keep it running, critics said. Japan officially halted commercial whaling in 1987, but critics argue it has used a loophole in the moratorium to continue whaling under the premise of research whaling.