Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd has found the Japanese whaling fleet and is chasing it across Antarctic waters.
Sea Shepherd says its three vessels found all five Japanese ships and caught them in the “grizzly act of butchering whales”.
The group says it has now confirmed that Japan is killing whales inside the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.
Sea Shepherd says: “For 24 hours, whaling has been impossible as the poachers run from the Sea Shepherd ships.
“The whalers are out of their self-imposed killing grounds, and continue running north. All whaling ships are now accounted for and fleeing.”
Japan plans to take 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales under a so-called scientific whaling program this season.
Australia has said it will send a surveillance aircraft to monitor both whaling and anti-whaling activities.
Watch Sea Shepherd footage of the Japan whaling ships processing Minke whales:
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