Environmental campaigners from the militant Sea Shepherd group said on Wednesday a Japanese whaling ship had "rammed" its vessels in a skirmish in the Southern Ocean.
Militant environmentalists Monday accused Japanese whalers of attempting to crash into their ship as they tried to prevent harpoonists from hauling a slaughtered whale on board.
The US Supreme Court has denied a plea from anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd to end restrictions on its movement as Japan's whalers accused the activists of violating orders to stay away.
The Sea Shepherd conservation group asked the US Supreme Court on Monday to lift an order forcing it to steer clear of Japan's whalers, who are seeking legal reprisals over harassment at sea.
Militant anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd said Wednesday it had zeroed in on the Japanese fleet before a single mammal had been killed, claiming an early victory in their annual Southern Ocean battle.
The fugitive founder of Sea Shepherd has stepped down from key roles at the militant anti-whaling group, passing the Antarctic harpoon chase mantle to a former Australian politician.
Hong Kong conservationists expressed outrage on Thursday after images of a factory rooftop covered in thousands of freshly sliced shark fins emerged, as they called for curbs on the "barbaric" trade.
Japanese whaling vessels left port Friday bound for the Southern Ocean on their annual hunt for the huge marine mammals, a media report and Greenpeace said.
More Japanese people support the country's controversial whale hunt than oppose it, a survey carried out on behalf of animal rights activists showed Tuesday.
New Zealand said Friday it would join an Australian attempt to stop Japanese whaling through the courts after failing to persuade Tokyo to halt its annual cull through diplomatic channels.