CANBERRA, Jan. 6 (Xinhua)-- The Australian government was urged by local anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Australia to take measures to stop the Japanese whale hunting in protected Antarctic waters, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported Monday.
According to a latest statement released by Sea Shepherd Australia on Sunday, Sea Shepherd has obtained compelling footage and images of three dead protected Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, the Japanese factory ship of the fleet, taken at the time the factory ship was first located. A fourth whale, believed to be a Minke, was being butchered on the bloodstained deck.
The statement confirmed that the Sea Shepherd is pursuing Japan 's five vessels in the Southern Ocean, as the whaling season gets under way to disrupt and shut down their operations.
Sea Shepherd Australia Chairman Bob Brown said Monday that the group will run a peaceful but relentless campaign to defend the whales.
And he urged the Abbot government to step in and send a customs vessel to police the activity.
"I've now written to the minister for the environment, Greg Hunt, asking him what action he's taken because he said he would intervene on this but there's little sign of that," he said. "The pictures speak for themselves. It's a bloody outrage."
According to local media, the Abbott government made an election promise to send a customs vessel to monitor Japanese whalers in Antarctica, but after the election, he promised only a plane to observe protesters and whalers in the Southern Ocean.
The federal court ruled Japan's hunt illegal in 2008 and issued an injunction against it. In June last year, then-Federal Attorney- General Mark Dreyfus called on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to outlaw Japanese whaling before the start of the next whale hunting season.
And last June, the New Zealand government joined the Australian government's challenge to the legality of Japan's whale hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at the ICJ, but a judgment has yet to be delivered.