img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-6976″ alt=”whaling boat” src=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/whaling-fleet5.jpg” width=”269″ height=”166″ />Australia’s federal government was irritated by the presence of a Japanese whaling boat in the local waters, in the Southern Ocean.
The Japanese whaling boat, Shonan Maru No.2, has entered Australia's exclusive economic zone near Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean, according to the Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke.
“Australia has made it clear to Japan on a number of occasions that vessels associated with its Japanese whaling program are not welcome in Australia's exclusive economic zone or territorial sea,” Burke said on Thursday.
The boat, a non-whaling one, was part of the fleet accompanying whaling vessels.
“Our embassy in Tokyo has conveyed these sentiments directly to the Japanese government,” Burke said.
The American anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd insisted Australia should raise the issue with Japan’s government.
“This vessel has armed personnel aboard,” Bob Brown, mission leader of the activist group, said.
“It is an affront to Australia that it is entering our territorial waters surrounding the World Heritage-listed Macquarie Island, which is part of Tasmania,” he added