Here's a video of some of the confrontation. The Sea Shepherd spent 5 hours attempting to block the transfer of the whale to the factory ship. (Took me ages to find this video).
Anti-whaling activists at Sea Shepherd said Japanese whalers killed a large minke whale on Friday in Australian waters off Antarctica near the Davis Research Base.
The group has posted photos of the incident online.
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said when the protesters tried to block the transfer of the harpooned whale's carcass from one vessel to another, the irate whalers tried to ram their boat.
Environment Minister Tony Burke said the focus should not be on which part of the ocean this happened.
"It doesn't matter what part of the ocean it is in, Australia's view is that it is just as illegal," Mr Burke told reporters.
"That's why we have taken Japan to the International Court of Justice. more
This is a very interesting short report on the issues around what's going on down there.