Featured Image for Heartbreaking photos allege Japanese slaughtered protected whales in Aussie waters

Heartbreaking photos allege Japanese slaughtered protected whales in Aussie waters

Animal activist group, Sea Shepherd, have released photos that allegedly show Japanese whalers slaughtering a minke whale in the Antarctic.

The pretty damn soul-crushing images show a dead whale onboard the Nisshin Maru while in Antarctic waters that come under Australian jurisdiction.

The dead whale on the Japanese ship

Dead whale on Japanese ship

The images released by Sea Shepherd are pretty hard to stomach. (Image: Sea Shepherd)

Sea Shepherd claim that one of their helicopters took the photographs on Sunday morning, and then both the whale and harpoons were covered up by tarpaulins on the ship.

The dead whale covered up by the tarp

Trying to cover their tracks? (Image: Sea Shepherd)

Japan’s whaling program was ruled to be illegal by the International Court of Justice back in 2014, and in 2015, Australia’s Federal Court fined whalers $1 mil AUD for slaughtering protected whales in one of our declared sanctuaries.

It’s a particularly awkward time for the images to come out politically as Japan’s Prime Minister was in Australia over the weekend for a state visit.

Adam Meyerson, one of Sea Shepherd’s captains said,

“The whale killers from the Nisshin Maru were caught red-handed slaughtering whales in the Australian whale sanctuary.

“The Steve Irwin has shut down their illegal operations and caught them trying to hide the evidence.”

Malcolm Turnbull was also heavily criticised by the activist group for failing to stand up to the Japanese.

Jeff Hansen, the managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia, said a “lack of action by the Turnbull government showed the government has no spine when it comes to protecting the wishes of Australians to defend the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary”.