Anti-whaling activists said on
Monday they had captured images of Japanese ships killing
protected whales inside an internationally recognised whale
sanctuary, sparking criticism of the Australian government's
handling of the issue.
The aerial footage released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society appeared to show the bloodied remains of three minke
whales on board the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru as it
sailed in the Southern Ocean. The group said it had information
that a fourth whale had also been killed.
The images have raised pressure on Environment Minister Greg
Hunt, who has backed away from a promise made during Australia's
election campaign last year to send a ship to monitor Japanese
whaling in the area.
His plan to instead send an aircraft staffed by customs
officials to randomly swoop over the area has been dismissed by
activists as ineffectual.
Bob Brown, a former lawmaker with the Greens party and
chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia, called on the conservative
Liberal Party-led government to honour its pledge to step up
monitoring of the Japanese fleet.