Whalers kill minke days after Turnbull meets Japanese PM
WARNING: Images may distress some readers
JUST days after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed whaling Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japan-flagged hunting ship slaughtered a minke whale in Australian waters.
Images of the slain whale aboard the "whaling factory ship" Nisshin Maru were shared by anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd.
The photographs show the dead whale lying on its side on the Nisshin, with later photos showing its crew rushed to wrap the dead mammal in a blue tarp.
It is almost three years since the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan must not hunt whales in Australian waters.
Sea Shepherd spokesman Jeff Hanson said the ship's crew was "scrambling" to cover-up evidence of the slaughter, covering up the ship's harpoons and its successful kill.
"As soon as the whaling fleet saw that Sea Shepherd on the scene, they were scrambling to cover up their illegal operations, they were covering up their harpoons," Mr Hansen told ABC News.
"This is all happening deep in Australia's whale sanctuary off the Antarctic coast.
"It shows that even with the Japan Prime Minister on Australian soil, Japan is going about their bloody business ignoring the Australian Federal Court ruling, ignoring the wishes of the International Court of Justice."
Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said he was "disappointed" that Japan had restarted its whaling efforts, adding that Australia was "opposed in all forms of commercial and so-called 'scientific' whaling".
"It is not necessary to kill whales in order to study them," he said.
Mr Frydenberg said the government would keep pushing to have the ban on whaling enforced.