The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Monitoring of Southern Ocean continues
5 March 2014
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On 2 March 2014 the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) undertook another monitoring flight over the Southern Ocean.
The flight left Hobart on Sunday morning and landed in Melbourne that evening.
The flight observed vessels from both the Japanese whaling fleet and the Sea Shepherd protest fleet.
No whaling activities, nor any evidence of recent activity, were observed during this monitoring mission.
Once again, the A319 aircraft has successfully monitored the activities of whaling and protest vessels over a large area in the Southern Ocean.
The Government is undertaking the first such monitoring operation in six years, and only the second ever. It is important for Australia to have a monitoring presence in the Southern Ocean.
I want to stress that all parties must abide by international maritime law.
The Government has publicly called on masters of all vessels involved to uphold their responsibility to ensure safety at sea and abide by international maritime law.
While we respect the right to peaceful protest, Australia will not condone any dangerous, reckless or unlawful behaviour.
The Southern Ocean can be a treacherous, remote and unforgiving environment, where search and rescue capability is extremely limited.