Report from Antarctica by Captain Paul Watson onboard the Steve Irwin

As if to give a finger to Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, the Japanese whaling fleet is reported to have cruised through the Lombok straits on the way to the coast of Antarctica to kill whales. The Minister is in Bali along with world leaders and environment ministers at the Climate Change Conference in Bali which borders the Lombok Straits.

This report which has not yet been fully confirmed means that the Japanese are most likely heading for the Western side of the area they have designated for killing whales this season. If this is true, it demonstrates the contempt that Japan holds for Australia on this issue. First they declare war on Australia's humpback whales refusing even to spare Migaloo should he come into their sights. And now they flaunt their contemptuous disregard for international conservation law by cruising arrogantly by an International Environmental Conference.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is becoming increasingly disappointed with the new Australian Labor government. With the Japanese whaling fleet arriving in the Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary, the Australian government has refused to comment on what actions will be taken, if any, to oppose the illegal whaling activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

At the moment, there is no firm confirmation of the area that Japan intends to begin their slaughter of whales. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has proposed to the Greenpeace Foundation that if the Greenpeace ship Esperanza approaches from one end of the Sanctuary and Sea Shepherd from the other, that the two organizations could locate the fleet quicker by working together. So far Greenpeace has refused to cooperate with Sea Shepherd efforts in Antarctic waters.

Everyday that we do not find the whalers means more whales will die. The whales need cooperation, from us, from Australia, from New Zealand and from Greenpeace if we are going to stop this vicious slaughter down here. I implore and even beg for this cooperation and I fail to understand why political and philosophical differences should stand in the way of saving the whales.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society urges Greenpeace to depart from New Zealand as soon as possible.

The whales will begin to die in a few days. We are down here searching for their killers right now. It would be nice to have some company, especially in the form of an Australian naval vessel as promised by the new Labor government of Australia.

Sea Shepherd
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