Flights monitor whalers and the Sea Shepherd

WHALERS and protesters in the southern ocean are now under surveillance, after the first monitoring flight in six years left Australia on Sunday.

The Department of Environment confirmed the flights will continue throughout the whaling season until March this year.

A statement from the department said it was the first monitoring flight of the season in six years, aiming to keep an eye on potential confrontations between whalers and protestors.

Last week a spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt confirmed there would be flights to come, but not until whalers were within Australian waters.

Protestors on board the Sea Shepherd vessel, Bob Barker, said the first flight was above their boat for eight minutes, and no contact was made.

The department said it was only the second time a monitoring mission had been undertaken of the whalers and protestors movements.

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