There are rumors aplenty floating about, especially on Facebook, about how the American seafood company Gorton’s is supposedly sending a refueling supply ship to refuel the Japanese whaling fleet. The rumors run the gamut of the Japanese whaling fleet actually refueling in Chile or going to Easter Island to be refueled by a tanker out of Chile. There are rumors that this tanker, apparently owned by the Chilean salmon aquaculture company Salmones Antarctic, will refuel the whalers either in Easter Island, off the coast of Chile, or in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary itself.

The first rumor is easily quashed.  The following is a response from Gorton’s: 

Gorton’s and its management have always strongly opposed whaling of any kind. Gorton’s itself has never engaged in any whaling activities.  We have not killed a single whale in our entire 160-year history, and never will.  We have made our position well known to our parent company Nippon Suisan, the seafood industry, and our community.  Please be assured that Nippon Suisan does not have any ties to the Japanese government’s research whaling program, nor does it have any influence over the Japanese government’s whaling policy. We would also like to assure you that Salmones Antarctic has not leased a refueling tanker to the Japanese whaling fleet during the 2010/2011 season; there is no truth to this rumor.

Are they lying? Not likely. Gorton’s is a long-established company and a lie like this would easily catch up with them. They know that and they would not risk it.  

Sea Shepherd will continue to investigate any connections in Chile, however, I think it is safe to say that no refueling operations will take place that involve the Japanese fleet going to Easter Island. Easter Island is too far north to make this an economically viable option for the whaling fleet and Chile is a member of the Latin American bloc that strongly opposes whaling. Chile recently declared all of their territorial waters as a sanctuary for whales and it is doubtful that the Chilean government would support the Japanese whalers to refuel in their territorial waters.  New Zealand has shown more willingness to support Japanese whaling operations than Chile and even New Zealand will not allow Japanese whalers to enter into their ports.

There is a possibility that a tanker could be chartered out of Chile to refuel and intercept supplies of whale meat. Most likely that tanker supply ship would also head to the Southern Ocean to refuel the whaling vessels. That possibility is being investigated and if it were to occur, the refueling operation would most likely take place in early to mid February.

By law, in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, refueling operations are not allowed south of 60-degrees. However, Japan has violated this regulation before and will most likely be willing to do so again in contempt of the treaty.  Sea Shepherd’s ships will obstruct any attempt to illegally refuel the Nisshin Maru, for we are confident that we will locate the whaling fleet and obstruct their operations before the fleet needs to refuel.

Sea Shepherd has also received assurances that Chile would not be hostile towards Sea Shepherd's ships entering Chilean ports. Sea Shepherd has an established chapter in Chile and we have a solid support base there as well.

Another rumor that I don’t give much credence to is that the whalers intend to kill whales in the presence of Sea Shepherd’s ships. In 2009, the Japanese whalers tried to do just that. Three whales were killed and the loading of those three whales resulted in three collisions between harpoon vessels and the Steve Irwin. They have not attempted to do that again since that time but if they attempt to do so this season, then they will be guaranteed further collisions. The whales that were killed in 2009 were slain from a distance of over twelve miles; the Steve Irwin had no way of keeping up with their faster harpoon vessels to block the killings. This season we have the Gojira and a faster longer-range helicopter to dog and harass the Japanese killing boats.

The claims that there are armed Japanese Coast Guards onboard the whaling vessels are accurate. We do not know how many or what they are armed with but we do know that there are indeed armed Japanese Coast Guard personnel onboard the whaling vessels.  However, these Coast Guard officers have no jurisdiction to board Dutch or Australian registered ships and any attempt by them to do so will be met with non-lethal but persuasive resistance.

The stakes are exceptionally high this season. The whalers know they must produce a kill acceptable to the Japanese government’s approval in order to justify their continued subsidies for their economically draining enterprise that has now become a corporate welfare hole contributing nothing to Japan economically, scientifically, culturally, and especially politically. The entire Japanese whaling operation is becoming more and more of an embarrassment to Japan with each passing year. The international public is becoming more and more aware and increasingly angry by the intransigence of the Japanese government on this issue. And now the industry is also being rocked by scandal with accusations of bribery and corruption.

I am confident that the key to success is through continued persistence from people around the world calling Japanese embassies and consulates, demonstrating before Japanese embassies and consulates, as well as Sea Shepherd’s efforts on location to continue to obstruct their illegal whaling and refueling operations.     

Rumors will abound, they always do, but what is more important than quashing rumors is abolishing whaling itself and we intend to do that this season with all of the passion we can muster in our hearts.

 



What You Can Do to Help Stop the Slaughter

 

TAKE ACTION! There are many things you can do to help save the whales and dolphins from slaughter. Please join us in our continuing efforts by applying pressure to the Japanese government and their embassies and consulates worldwide to take action.

 

WRITE:  Send a letter, e-mail, and/or fax the Prime Minister of Japan, the Minister of Fisheries, your local embassy or consulate and other Japanese officials to let them know that this barbaric slaughter is unacceptable.

PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN
Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
1-6-1 Nagata-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8914 JAPAN
+81-3-5253-2111

Website: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html
Online comment form #1: https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html
Online comment form #2: https://form.cao.go.jp/kokusai/en_opinion-0001.html

MINISTER OF FISHERIES
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Masahiko Yamada
1-2-1 Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8950 JAPAN
Tel: +81-3-3502-8111
Fax: +81-3-3502-8220

Website: http://www.maff.go.jp/e/index.html
Contact form: https://www.contact.maff.go.jp/maff/form/114e.html

 

EMBASSY OF JAPAN IN WASHINGTON D.C.
Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
2520 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008-2869
Tel: (202) 238-6700
Fax: (202) 328-2187

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.us.emb-japan.go.jp

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MEDIA (TV, NEWSPAPERS, AND RADIO):

In order to spread the word about what is happening in Japan, we need media coverage to inform the public on these important issues.

  • Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers
  • Call TV and radio stations to ask them to cover this important news
  • You can offer Sea Shepherd telephone number 1-212-220-2302, so the media can contact us for interviews with Sea Shepherd President and Founder Captain Paul Watson

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-MAIL NEWSLETTER:

Receive our Sea Shepherd E-News to stay informed about our progress and to learn of more ways to help.

SUPPORT SEA SHEPHERD WITH A DONATION TODAY!:

Click here to make a donation via credit card or to learn about other ways to support Sea Shepherd.

Operation No Compromise

Operation
No Compromise

Pin It
Sea Shepherd
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.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Join the crew of the R/V Martin Sheen as they witness the damage a gillnet can cause to marine wildlife while patrolling the endangered vaquita's refuge in Mexico.