In "Whale Science", Catalyst, an Australian Broadcasting Corporation programme, "collected all the research papers the Japanese program has produced over the last 18 years, rented a room, and locked three experts inside - they're not allowed out until they've judged every paper and delivered a verdict."
Separating refereed from unrefereed papers in the pile, they are left 55 papers from 18 years of 'research' costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The spokesperson for Japan's whale research program says that "the whole aim of [their] research activities is to establish sustainable whaling in Antarctic Ocean." So the panel pick the papers that might contribute to this goal. They are left with 14 papers "that could be relevant".
6,800 whales have been killed for 'research', so the panel then separates out papers that actually required killing of whales.
From the original pile, there are "four papers that can be said to be peer reviewed, that have some relevance to developing or managing a whaling industry and also would require lethal sampling of whales to get that information."