Sea Shepherd vs. Japanese Whaling
...Our past efforts...
...What we're doing now
This year, the Japanese whaling fleet is targeting 935 piked (Minke) whales and another 50 fin whales, and has threatened to add humpbacks to their quota as well.
Japan's new government supports the annual slaughter. The hunt is carried out in contravention to the 1986 international moratorium against whaling. Japan claims to be conducting lethal research but they openly sell the whale meat on the commercial market. The whaling is carried out by Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research (backed by the Japanese government).
Unfortunately last year, for the first time in the 5th year of our ongoing campaign, we saw a whale die. Our captain and crew report that it was a heart-breaking experience watching the graceful, sentient, beautiful creature writhing in horrific agony for twenty-five minutes after the explosive harpoon was driven into her backside. And as this suffering whale screamed and rolled in her own blood, the whalers continued to pump high powered rounds into her body. They intend to repeat this heartless practice with almost a thousand more whales.
Our past efforts
In 2008-9, our Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign Operation Musashi saved 305 whales from the harpoons. The year before (2007-8), Operation Migaloo saved some 500 whales from the Japanese pirate whalers. And the year before that (2006-7) Operation Leviathan saved 500 whales. That’s over 1,305 whales!
Because of Sea Shepherd interventions, the Japanese whalers have suffered losses for three years and they are now in debt to the Japanese government for subsidies of over US$100 million dollars. We are making steady progress towards our objective of sinking the entire Japanese whaling fleet – economically.
What we are doing now
This year, our 6th Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign is titled Operation Waltzing Matilda. Our campaign logo has been modeled on the artwork that once adorned the fighter planes of the legendary Flying Tigers that fought the Japanese invaders of China during World War II.
Sea Shepherd Netherlands Director and Dutch artist Geert-Jan Vons and Captain Paul Watson designed the logo to show Sea Shepherd’s appreciation to the people of Australia whose support for our efforts has enabled us to use Australia as our launching base for our annual campaigns to Antarctica. Thus the logo is comprised of a kangaroo with a pirate’s eye patch wielding a trident set against the yellow sun of the Aboriginal flag and incorporating the black, red, and yellow of the Aboriginal flag along with the red, white, and blue of the Australian flag.
Waltzing Matilda is the unofficial national anthem of Australia. A “matilda” is a bedroll and “waltzing” means to hike. To hike with one’s pack is to go “Waltzing Matilda.”
This year, the Sea Shepherd crew intend to waltz on down to the Southern Ocean with a bedroll full of tactics and surprises, and we intend to do a dangerous but effective "dance" with the Japanese whaling fleet to save the lives of as many whales as we possibly can.
Our flagship Steve Irwin will be joined by a very fast interceptor vessel called Earthrace. This ship looks more like a spaceship than a boat. It has the speed and the maneuverability to catch and block the fast Japanese harpoon ships.
Repairs and preparations are almost complete on the Steve Irwin and we plan to add some new defensive and offensive equipment to enable us to be more efficient this year than last year. Hundreds of volunteers have been mobilized on the two ships and onshore to support the coming interventions. And as always, we go into this conflict exercising extreme caution to not cause injury to the poachers we oppose and with the intention of upholding and enforcing international conservation law in accordance with the principles of the United Nations World Charter for Nature.
The Japanese have admitted that Sea Shepherd interventions have cost them their profits and they are exerting enormous political pressure to shut us down to prevent our continued interference with their slaughter.
But we shall not be deterred. Our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically . . .
We need your help to do so!