Will this be Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's last Antarctic campaign? I sincerely hope so, and the outlook is promising that the whale wars in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary may be coming to an end. The writing is on the wall for the Japanese whalers.

This is the weakest the Japanese whaling fleet has ever been, with just a factory ship and three harpoon vessels. The Shonan Maru No. 2 security ship is no longer with the whaling fleet, and the spotter vessels are no longer part of the poaching operation either.

But, this is the strongest the Sea Shepherd fleet has ever been. We have three vessels, a new longer-range helicopter, new equipment, and three incredibly dedicated volunteer crews.

We have not heard anything from Glen Inwood, or Ginza Glen, as we like to call him, the New Zealand mouthpiece for the whalers. He is strangely silent this season, and perhaps his public relations contract with the whalers has not been renewed.

The Japanese economy is in trouble. The value of the Japanese yen has been falling recently, and the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) has become an economic liability for the Japanese government, in addition to being a constant irritation for the Japanese Foreign Ministry. The whaling industry has also been scandalized by charges of bribery, embezzlement, and corruption.

Every year Japan is humiliated at the International Whaling Commission, and now Australia wants to haul Japan before the International Court in The Hague to challenge their activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.    

On January 20, 2011, Kyodo Senpaku, the Japan Whaling Association, and the Institute of Cetacean Research held a media conference.

Kazuo Murayama, the CEO of Kyodo Senpaku and the head of the Japan Whaling Association reported "annual sales (whale meat) have decreased 30% during the first half of 2010."  In response he announced that JWA's activities may be decreased as a result. The Institute of Cetacean Research announced that it has reduced the number of its executive directors to one. Yoshihiro Fujise, the remaining Executive Director stated that the "financial model of covering the research costs by selling whale meat as a 'byproduct' of the research no longer worked."

Publications like New Scientist and marine biologists from around the world have condemned the so-called scientific justification of the whaling operations. The hysterical rantings of the ICR on Facebook, their website, and in media releases has become focused on condemnation of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. What they call piracy, eco-terrorism, and militant extremism is simply what we call conservative anti-poaching operations. Sea Shepherd is simply defending the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.  

Critics of Sea Shepherd have said the only reason that Japan continues to kill whales is because of Sea Shepherd, and that the Japanese have too much pride to back down from opposition from a non-governmental organization. Statements from the Japanese Fisheries Agency and the ICR seem to suggest that this has now become a matter of saving face. There now seems to be an obsession with destroying Sea Shepherd with the Japanese Foreign Ministry increasing pressure on the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand to neutralize Sea Shepherd.  

Some anti-whaling critics have suggested that Sea Shepherd back off from opposing the Japanese whalers to allow them to exit with grace. I disagree. The Japanese whaling fleet is where it is now because of Sea Shepherd. We have taken their profits away, and increased their operating costs for six straight years. They are now in debt so badly that the subsidy loans from the Japanese government will only continue to increase. We cannot back off and allow them to make any profit that may be applied to the repayment of these loans.

Our objective is not to win the hearts and minds of the Japanese public. Winning the hearts and minds of the majority of Canadians did not influence the policies of the Canadian government, whose reaction to more and more Canadians opposing the seal slaughter was to become more entrenched in their defense of the killing of seals. The seal hunt is also an industry that survives because of corporate welfare from the Canadian federal government.

In a true free market system, both the Japanese whale hunt and the Canadian seal hunt would have expired by going bankrupt. Now both enterprises continue to survive because of this new invention called corporate communism. However in both cases, and despite government handouts, both whaling and sealing continue to decline, as there is no hope of realizing any so-called profit in the foreseeable future. In effect, both are dead industries surviving by the grace of politicians and bureaucrats. Public opinion has little impact on these decisions. In fact with Japan, it can be argued that outside public opinion or gaiatsu as it is known in Japan, carries more weight than domestic pressure.

The Japanese media tends to be nationalistic and pro-government. For a long time, the average Japanese citizen was completely unaware of the whaling operations in the Southern Ocean. It was the drama of the confrontations with Sea Shepherd that made the Japanese public aware.

Sea Shepherd's objective has long been to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically - to bankrupt them, and it is a strategy that appears to be working.

Despite the propaganda from Japan, Sea Shepherd is not doing anything illegal. None of our ships have been charged or detained, we have not been reprimanded, and we have not been charged with a crime, not even by Japan. Sea Shepherd ships have access to Australian and New Zealand ports, Japanese whaling ships do not. The Japanese whalers are also officially in contempt of an Australian Federal Court order prohibiting the killing of whales in Australian territorial waters.

In 2010, Pete Bethune was charged as an individual when he boarded the Shonan Maru No. 2 because he became subject to Japanese law once onboard a Japanese ship. The decision to board the whaling fleet security vessel that had sunk his vessel the Ady Gil, was made by Bethune. Sea Shepherd supported his decision, and paid for his defense in Japan. However, nothing that Sea Shepherd ships have done has been illegal or even a breach of maritime regulations.

Not once has a Sea Shepherd ship rammed a Japanese whaler in the Southern Ocean, on the contrary, it was the Japanese harpoon vessels that initiated the collisions in every case. In past years, they did the same with Greenpeace ships and back then, they also accused Greenpeace of initiating the collisions. Since Greenpeace has a clear policy of not ramming ships, the Japanese accusations lost credibility when they made the same accusations against Sea Shepherd. Sea Shepherd is not against ramming the vessels operated by poachers. We have done so in the past, however in the case of the defense of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, our policy is to intercept, harass and block, and not to ram the whaling vessels.

It is a strategy that is working and every year we cut the kill quotas more than the year before as our resources become stronger. This year we have completely removed two of three harpoon vessels for the entire first month of whaling operations, and we have kept the remaining harpoon vessel and the Nisshin Maru factory ship on the run for 80 percent of the time, allowing them for little time to stop and kill whales.

We are confident that the kill numbers this year will be well below last year's figures, when we were able to prevent the killing of more whales than they actually were able to kill. In other words, it is about the body count. Our objective is to keep the body count as low as possible and the whalers have an objective of killing 935 Minke whales, 50 humpbacks, and 50 fin whales for a total of 1035 whales. Last year they killed 507 whales, and we saved 528 whales.

There was no argument about last year's success. The whalers themselves credited us with this by whining about the economic damage we did to their so-called research industry.

And now, we are coming down to the wire. Demand for whale meat in Japan is down. There is a surplus of whale meat being kept frozen at great expense in warehouses in Japan. The value of the yen is falling. New International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, which will prohibit the use of heavy oil fuels in Antarctica after August 2011, will make the Nisshin Maru's machinery operations illegal. Japan needs a replacement factory ship, but has not even begun to build one. Australia is taking Japan to the International Court in The Hague. International public protests against Japanese whaling and dolphin killing are increasing. Allegations of bribery and corruption within the whaling industry and the Japanese government, are surfacing more and more.

Thus there is a very real possibility that Japan may not send a whaling fleet to the Southern Ocean at the end of this year, and if they do, we will be prepared to oppose them once again. But we would rather not. We would rather that the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary be left in peace. We have spent seven seasons intervening against these whale poachers. Each season gives us more support than the year before, and each season increases our resources, strengthens our supply lines, and increases our effectiveness.

We must be prepared to return again in December 2011, and we must be prepared to come back even stronger. To be 100 percent effective, we could use a third large ship, or another ship with the speed to exceed that of the harpoon vessels. The Gojira is an excellent scout ship but we need a little more muscle. With one ship to keep each of the harpoon vessels occupied, we could be more effective. If the Japanese whalers return with four ships, Sea Shepherd should return with four ships as well.

And if they don't return, we will be in a position to move our operations to the North Atlantic to once again challenge the outlaw whalers of Norway, Iceland, and the Danish Faroe Islands.

Operation No Compromise

Operation
No Compromise

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.