Comments: Long hunted for human food and oil. Became a major target for modern whalers following depletion of larger species (around the 1930s in the Northern Hemisphere, 1970s in the Southern Ocean). Mainstay of Japanese factory ship whaling in southern ocean in early 1980s. Norway and Japan continued hunting for "scientific research" during recent whaling ban; these and possibly other nations have been pressing to resume commercial hunting of minke. See IUCN (1991) for review of exploitation history.