The Reuters News Agency reported that the confrontations between whale defenders and whalers in the Southern Oceans could result in the failure of Japan to take its full self appointed quota.
Hideki Moronuki, the head of the whaling section of the Fisheries Ministry is quoted as saying "If the harassment continues there may be some effect, but I want to make it quite clear that Japan will not cancel its research, whatever dangerous activities or interference may occur."
Moronuki added, ""We have experienced disruption in the past, but this time it has been more aggressive than ever."
The disruptions that Mr. Moronuki is referring to have cost the Japanese more than 15 days of lost whaling time. This means that we have been 50% effective in keeping them from killing whales.
A failure to achieve their quota would be a victory for the whale defenders. It is not, however, a total victory. Every whale that is slaughtered is a tragedy.
Captain Paul Watson is frustrated by this, but hopeful for the future. "We have found the key to saving the whales. When we approach they run from us. They are afraid of us, and we want them to be afraid of us. All we need to be 100% effective is a long-range vessel capable of matching the speed of the Nisshin Maru. With the right ship, we can save whales." he said.
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is capable of matching the speed of the Nisshin Maru. Unfortunately, the whalers are not afraid to kill whales when Greenpeace is around.
"I know it must be very frustrating and very painful for the Greenpeace crews," said Captain Watson. "Unfortunately they are restricted by the limitations of their tactics. We appreciate the impact their images of whaling have in exposing the crimes of the Japanese whalers. Their documentation of this atrocity has been superb."
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society must acquire a similar ship to enable us to match the Nisshin Maru for the purpose of enforcement.
The JARPA II program (or more aptly titled, "pogrom") is a 17-year plan by Japan to escalate whaling in the Antarctic.
Captain Paul Watson has pledged to devote himself to the objective of shutting this pogrom down even if it means spending the next 16 years intercepting, harassing, confronting, and obstructing the criminal operations of the Japanese whalers.
"This is a war to save the whales," said Captain Watson. "It is a war we intend to win. The barbaric slaughter of whales has no place in the 21st century, and no place in a civilized world. It is an indelible stain of disgrace upon the entire species of humanity. We must end it or die trying."
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is already preparing for another voyage to the Southern Oceans in December 2006. The Society is raising funds for a new ship, equipment, and fuel, and is taking applications for volunteer crewmembers.