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Four whales killed in sanctuary, Japanese whalers say it's for science

The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd has released a disturbing video showing four dead minke whales aboard a Japanese whaling vessel located in protected waters. Conservationists are outraged at the Australian government which doesn't appear to be doing anything about it.


Warning: The above video is graphic.

The group, which is accusing the Australian government is reneging on its promise to monitor Japanese whaling, says the whales were killed inside an internationally recognized sanctuary for whales. The five Japanese vessels were working in New Zealand's territorial waters, located in the Ross Sea in Antarctica. The Australian government has been urged to lodge a whaling protest with Japan.


Australia's ABC reports:

...Sea Shepherd Australia chairman Bob Brown says there is no sign of surveillance from the Federal Government.

"Sea Shepherd is committed to doing all it peaceably can to prevent this grotesque and cruel destruction," Mr Brown said.

"There's three carcasses on the ship; a fourth carcass has been cut up. There's blood all over the place, meat being carted around on this factory ship deck, offal [and] innards being dumped in the ocean.

"That's just a gruesome, bloody, medieval scene which has no place in this modern world."

A statement from Mr Hunt's office says the Federal Government is ready to start a "monitoring mission" but the whalers have not yet been in Australia's search and rescue zone.

More from The Guardian:

Jeff Hansen, the managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia, told Guardian Australia that the Japanese fleet was "on the run".

"We are keeping on their tail and they aren't whaling at the moment so we're happy about that, at least," he said. "There is no need for confrontation, the number one priority is the protection of whales."

Hansen said the minke whales killed could include some that were tagged by Australian scientists last year to measure their progress from the Great Barrier Reef down the east coast to Victoria.


The whalers claim to be conducting scientific research — and they've got an apparent website to prove it. But after watching the Sea Shepherd video, it would appear they've got a rather strange way of doing science.

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OK, say that for a minute we believe that these evil bastards are actually conducting research, what would you need four dead whales, all illegally murdered in the same place, for? I mean, what could you be researching?

I'm not a marine biologist so I'm not really qualified to question their methods (except on moral grounds, which I think is quite enough), but I'm really interested, so somebody please explain.