6 January 2014
Australian anti-whaling activists say they're following a Japanese fleet of ships they say has killed four whales in the Southern Ocean. The activists say the whales were killed within a protected whale sanctuary. It's the first such incident this whaling season.
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The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd says its boats are following five Japanese ships. The group released video footage apparently showing three dead whales on board, as well as a heavily bloodied deck where another whale appears to have been butchered.
Sea Shepherd says the whales were killed within the internationally designated Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. There is a worldwide ban on the commercial fishing of whales but the Japanese maintain their whaling is for scientific research, which falls outside the ban.
Last year Australia took Japan to the International Court of Justice in an attempt to force it to cease whaling. A decision on the case is expected later this year. But environmentalists here have criticised the Australian government for not doing enough to stop the Japanese.
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piece of film showing a particular event
covered in blood
killed and cut into pieces
officially chosen for a special purpose
protected and safe place
- to cease
people who try to protect natural places from damage caused by human activity