Conservationists chase Japanese whaling fleet from protected Southern Ocean
The conservation group obtained footage of three dead minke whales, a protected species, on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, and a fourth whale, also believed to be a minke, being butchered on the ship, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Crew members are seen mopping up large pools of blood on the deck.
After documenting the slaughter, the three-vessel Sea Shepherd fleet—which includes the Steve Irwin, the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon—drove the five Japanese whaling ships from the New Zealand maritime sanctuary in the first encounter of the current whaling season.
The Guardian reports:
The whaling boats were operating within the whale sanctuary in New Zealand’s territorial waters, located in the Ross Sea in Antarctica, according to Sea Shepherd.Though condemning the actions of the Japanese whalers, neighboring governments have thus far done little to deter the practice.
Conservationists argue that Australia should enforce its own Antarctic territory by cracking down on whaling, which has been deemed unlawful by the federal court. However, only four nations – which do not include Japan – recognise Australia’s claim to Antarctic land and sea territory.