At 04.00 am (AEAT) on Wednesday January 4th, the Bob Barker moved in amongst the Japanese whaling fleet 190 miles North of the French Antarctic base of Dumont D'Urville.
While on the look out for the Japanese factory ship the Nisshin Maru, the Bob Barker ran into one of the three harpoon vessels, the Yushin Maru 3. It appears that the Yushin Maru 3 has not begun whaling activities as its harpoon is still covered.
The whaling fleet has been desperately trying to avoid being caught by Sea Shepherd detection and has fled over 1500 miles to the Southeast of where they were first detected by a drone reconnaissance deployed by the Steve Irwin.
The Bob Barker continues to travel East in pursuit of the Japanese factory ship, now followed at close range by the Yushin Maru 3. The whaling fleet has left the French EEZ and are now in Australian Antarctic waters. Sea Shepherd can confirm that the Japanese whaling fleet is now in Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.
The Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot continue to make progress towards Fremantle with the Shonan Maru #2 tailing both vessels. The Shonan Maru #2 is now 65 miles inside the Australian continental Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ).
Because the Nisshin Maru and the harpoon vessels have been moving continuously since first located by Sea Shepherd, they do not appear to have had any time to kill whales. They know that if they slow down or stop the Bob Barker will close the gap and will be on them.
The Steve Irwin will quickly refuel in Fremantle and will return to the Southern Ocean to assist the Bob Barker in intervening against the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary inside Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.
| || |