Are the whalers close to throwing in the towel?It is November 27th, and the Japanese whaling fleet has not yet left Japan. Never before have they been this late in departing from Japan to head to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to slaughter whales. The whalers have not officially said they will not be returning to the Southern Ocean, but they are acting as if they may not be returning to the coast of Antarctica this season.

Are we seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the whale wars in the Southern Ocean? What a wonderful thing that would be - 935 Minke, 50 humpback and 50 fin whales will all be spared.

We can only hope, and wonder at the same time, just what kind of game the whalers are playing. Over the last ten years, the whaling fleet has consistently left between November 6th, and November 19th. The Fisheries Agency, the Institute of Cetacean Research, and the whaling company Kyodo Senpaku, have all declined comment on the departure delay.

One of their problems is that they have not found a refueling ship. The Hiyo Maru No.2, formally named the Oriental Bluebird, has been sold by its owner Daito Trading Company to China to be scrapped. "The ship is too old to operate," Daito Trading Co. official Yoshikazu Kurashige said.

The ship was sold in August, and the whalers had plenty of time to find a replacement ship. However, their challenge is finding a company willing to charter a vessel for the Southern Ocean, risk harassment from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and be associated with the illegal poaching activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

The whaling fleet normally arrives in the Antarctic Ocean in mid-December, and starts the return voyage in March, arriving back in Japan in April. "The factory ship Nisshin Maru, is presently moored at Innoshima port in Hiroshima Prefecture," commented an official for Universal Shipbuilding Corporation, who provides maintenance for the vessel.

Pressure on Japan to end their controversial whaling activities is increasing. In May of this year, Australia initiated a legal action at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to end Japan's research whaling in the Antarctic. At the same time, stockpiles of frozen whale meat have increased to 5,670 tons, the highest since 1999. Evidence that the market is collapsing.

The Japan Times reported, "Japan caught 506 Minke whales and a blue whale in the Antarctic during last winter's season, which ran from December to March. The catch has been decreasing due to obstruction by the radical environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society."

However, the Japan Times made a mistake. They whalers did not kill a blue whale; they killed one fin whale of their self-awarded quota of 50, which was zero of 50 the year before. Over the last two years, they have not taken a single one of the 100 humpback whales they intended to kill.

The whalers may quit the whaling grounds completely this year or they may make it a shorter season with a reduced quota. They are prepared for a confrontation with the three Sea Shepherd ships presently being readied for departure in Tasmania.

For the first time in three years, armed Japanese Coast Guard officers will be onboard the Japanese whaling vessels to defend the whaling activities from Sea Shepherd intervention. In fiscal 2007, three coast guards were deployed aboard whaling vessels for security purposes for the first time ever.

According to Nobutaka Tsutsui, senior vice minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, the Japanese fleet will soon depart for the Southern Ocean.  Tsutsui also informed the Japanese media that Sea Shepherd "is stepping up its activities against Japan's so-called research whaling."

What this means for Sea Shepherd is that for the first time in history, Sea Shepherd's fleet will be in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary before the Japanese whaling fleet arrives. We will be waiting for them this year, and the sooner we find them, the sooner we can shut them down. During last year's Operation Waltzing Matilda campaign, we saved more whales than the whalers killed. They slaughtered 507 whales, and we saved 528, but our objective this year is to save them all. That is our challenge, and we intend to invest all our energies and experience into achieving this goal.

The Sea Shepherd fleet will depart from Hobart, Australia on December 2nd.  The three ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira are all fully outfitted and equipped for the three-month campaign to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
The Farley Mowat Sea Shepherd crew is called out to investigate a dead Brydes whale in the Gulf of California on November 5th, 2016 while patrolling the vaquita refuge. To help the Sea Shepherd crew to continue its work in the Sea of Cortez, including protecting the near-extinct vaquita marina porpo...
Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Sea Shepherd campaign Operation Virus Hunter saw the vessel RV Martin Sheen under the leadership of Alexandra Morton, head up the coast of British Columbia Canada to expose open pen Atlantic salmon farms and the impact they are having on wild Pacific salmon and the the surrounding eco-systems.
Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
The Sea Shepherd crew has found 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks in the month of march of 2016. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org/milagro2
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd crew rescued a whale entangled in an illegal totoaba gillnet in the Gulf of California. Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico's Gulf of California on OPERATION MILAGRO. Our goal is to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita are caught as a r...
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
This week the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The Farley Mowat and The Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass net from the critically endangered vaquita marina's habitat Watch all episodes at: http://www.seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia/videos.html ‪#‎OpMilag...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Actor Gregg Lowe crews with Sea Shepherd to help us protect the vaquita. The M/V Farley Mowat lights up the vaquita refuge and deters poacher from laying deadly nets in the vaquita marina's habitat. Watch all episodes at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
The first video of our new series "Sea Shepherd Wildlife". This episode is about one of the lesser know large dolphins - The False Killer Whales. Learn more about these beautiful creatures with the Sea Shepherd crew. Share it with your friends. Video by Carolina A. Castro Narration by Nicole D'Entr...
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat.