Marine conservationists announced Tuesday they will for the first time be able to outrun the Japanese whaling fleet in the upcoming annual battle to protect the giant mammals in the icy Southern Ocean.
A Japanese whaling fleet returned home Thursday from its annual Antarctic hunt, the government said, a trip that angered environmentalists and nations opposed to the slaughter.
New Zealand led an international protest on Monday against Japan's plans to resume killing whales in the Southern Ocean, while Australia said it was considering further legal action.
A Japanese whaling fleet set sail for the Antarctic on Tuesday, on a mission to resume the slaughter after a one-year pause, with environmentalists slamming the move as a "crime against nature".
Japan announced Tuesday that it had wrapped up a whale hunt in the Pacific, the second campaign since the UN's top court ordered Tokyo to halt a separate slaughter in the Antarctic.
A Japanese whaling fleet left port Saturday under tight security, marking the first hunt since the UN's top court last month ordered Tokyo to stop killing whales in the Antarctic.
A whaling fleet anchored at a Japanese port Saturday after Tokyo said it would cancel its annual hunt for the first time in more than 25 years to abide by a UN court ruling.
Militant anti-whaling campaigners Sea Shepherd said Monday they were ambushed under the cover of darkness by a Japanese whaling fleet in a "ruthless assault" to disable their ship in the Southern Ocean.
Militant anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd on Monday dismissed as a "sham" Australian government plans to track Japan's annual whale hunt by air instead of by sea, saying it was a toothless and "cowardly" response.
Japan's annual whale hunt is a commercial slaughter of marine mammals dressed up as science, Australian lawyers argued Wednesday as they urged the United Nations' highest court to ban the hunt in the waters around Antarctica.