Japanese Whaling Fleet Located in Australian Sanctuary

Image Courtesy: Sea Shepherd Global/Glenn Lockitch

The Japanese whale poachers’ factory whaling vessel was located in the Australian Whale Sanctuary with a dead minke whale on its flensing deck, the first to be documented since the International Court of Justice ruled against their whaling operations in the Antarctic in 2014, according to Sea Shepherd.

After five weeks of patrolling the Southern Ocean, the helicopter of the marine conservation organization’s MY Steve Irwin spotted the Nisshin Maru within the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

“When the helicopter approached, the Nisshin Maru crew scrambled to hide the slaughtered whale with a tarp, while the fleet’s harpoon ships Yushin Maru and Yushin Maru #2 quickly covered their harpoons,” Sea Shepherd said.

These are the first photographs documenting the Japanese whaling fleet’s killing of whales since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled their whaling program illegal in 2014 and the Australian Federal Court found the Japanese whaling industry in contempt for killing protected whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

“The fact that the Japanese crew went to cover up their harpoons and the dead minke whale on deck just shows that they know what they’re doing is wrong,” Captain Wyanda Lublink of the MY Steve Irwin, said, adding that the know they are “in contempt of the ruling of the International Court of Justice and the Australian Federal Court.”

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