A spokesman for the whalers at the Institute of Cetacean Research, Glenn Inwood, confirmed the men were still aboard the vessel.
“They are unhurt, they are being questioned and there has been no decision on anything beyond that at this stage,” the New Zealand-based Mr Inwood told AAP.
Mr Inwood said it was wrong to say the incident happened in Australian waters.
“Australia has legal jurisdiction out to 12 miles. The equivalent of that is 19km. This mooring happened at 40km out. So this did not occur within Australian territorial waters.”