07/12/2015 5:52 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Turnbull Government Considers Taking Resumed Japanese Whaling Back To Court

Sea Shepherd Australia Ltd / Tim Watters

CANBERRA -- The Turnbull Government is considering taking Japan back to the International Court of Justice in Hague over its decision to resume so-called “scientific whaling” in the Southern Ocean this summer.

Australia has joined 32 other nations in formally registering a protest with Japan, after its whaling fleet set sail last week to hunt up to 330 Minke whales.

After losing in the International Court of Justice last year and having its scientific program described as a “sham,” Japan withdrew from the Court’s jurisdiction in disputes over "living resources of the sea".

The Japanese Fisheries Agency subsequently notified the International Whaling Commission that it was resuming whaling under a revised plan.

A statement from Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop states: “We are working with other like-minded nations to build international consensus against Japanese whaling.

“We are also exploring options for further legal action.”

The joint Ministerial statement describes Japan’s decision as “deeply disappointing” and promises the Government will “continue to raise our concerns at the highest level of the Japanese Government”.

Last week the Attorney-General George Brandis told parliament that Australia may send a Customs patrol vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor Japan’s whale kill.