Trouble is brewing again in the Southern Ocean, as Japan sets off on its annual whale hunt.

And this year it will meet even more opposition than before.

Sky News reports the conservation group Sea Shepherd has built its fleet up to four ships and says it'll stop at nothing to prevent whales being taken.

It wants intervention by the Australian Government, but Environment Minister Tony Burke says he's done all he can.


"Japan's behaviour on this must stop. We have taken every action that is possible to take. We are not about to declare war on Japan."

Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson is out to save as many whales as possible.

"We're going to do everything that we can to prevent them from killing a single whale.

"We're not out here to hurt anybody, we're hear to just uphold international conservation law."