Greenpeace has officially announced that they will not be sending a ship to the Southern Oceans to oppose whaling by the Japanese Whaling fleet. This means that Sea Shepherd will be alone in our high seas opposition to illegal Japanese whaling operations when the whaling season opens in a month.
"As a Greenpeace co-founder, I am deeply offended that Greenpeace has been raising millions of dollars in the name of defending whales all year and now two weeks before the Japanese whaling fleet is scheduled to depart, they announce they will not be going," said Captain Paul Watson. "In my opinion they collected funds under false pretenses and now they have abandoned the whales. Shame on them."
Sea Shepherd will launch this year's Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign: Operation Musashi at the end of November. The Steve Irwin will depart from Australia for our fifth voyage to obstruct and intervene against outlaw pirate whaling activities in the Antarctic Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary. Due to our interventions in the past Antarctic Whale Defense campaigns, we have saved hundreds of whales from the Japanese whalers.
"Sea Shepherd will never retreat and we will never surrender until the outlaw whalers are driven out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for good," said Executive Director Kim McCoy.
Last week, Greenpeace Australia spokesperson Steve Shallhorn announced that Greenpeace would be sending a ship to Antarctic waters. The same day Japan announced that they would be sending a Japanese Coast Guard gunboat to defend the whaling fleet. It appears that the Japanese government has successfully frightened Greenpeace away this year.
"They can send the entire Japanese Navy down to the Southern Ocean if they like, but Sea Shepherd and the crew of the Steve Irwin will not be intimidated by this kind of brutal military thuggery. When we say we put our lives on the line to defend the whales, we mean it. It's not just a slogan for us," said Captain Watson. "I have not seen a whale die since I left Greenpeace in 1977 and I have no intention of seeing a whale die this year. They don't kill whales when we show up and they won't kill whales when we arrive again this year. They will have to sink us first."