Whales are the cockiest aquatic bastards known to man. Throughout their time on Earth they have cyclically been hunted and been preserved in equal measure.
On the week beginning the 19th of November 2007 a Japanese sailing fleet set sail with the aim of harpooning humpback whales for the first time in decades. Commercial whaling was stopped in 1986 by Lefties but Japan is permitted to whale in the name of scientific research. The fleet had instructions to kill up to 1000 whales including 50 humpbacks. The Captain states that he also intends to obsessively fixate on capturing a large white whale going on to say "This whale is a metaphor for that which we cannot control evoking man's struggle with fate but mainly it is a massive white whale."
Some scholars cast aspersions on the huge amount of whale related research going on in Japan. Counter critics pointed to an ongoing and very very important research programme into whether whale meat tastes nice with teriyaki sauce which had still, at the time, proved inconclusive.
Proponents of the Japanese involvement cited rising whale numbers, increased arrogance in whale population and the fear that whales may begin eating people like they did back in the Bible. This began the 'Justice for Jonah' appeal.