The Greenpeace Foundation has announced that they will not be returning to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica for the 2006/2007 Japanese whaling season.
In a recent meeting at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia, Shayne Rattenbury of Greenpeace said that they have accomplished all that they could this year and there was no need to return to Antarctic waters at the end of the year to confront whalers. If they return to Antarctica at all, it will be for a global warming research mission.
Greenpeace is estimated to have spent over one million dollars in promotions over the recent campaign to Antarctica where Greenpeace crewmembers were filmed observing the slaughter of the whales.
Shayne Rattenbury said that Greenpeace had to re-evaluate their tactics after one of their crew was thrown into the ocean during a confrontation with a Japanese whaling ship. "If not for the fact that he was wearing a survival suit, he would have died in those frigid waters," said Rattenbury.
Captain Paul Watson was amused at the statement. "I thought that was what a survival suit was for," he said. "My crew all jumped into the water on New Year's Day to swim with the penguins and they were only wearing bathing suits. Rattenbury seems to forget that risk is what this is all about. Of course it is risky. Of course it is dangerous. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it. Now it looks as if only Sea Shepherd will be taking these risks against the pirate whalers next year."
Greenpeace had two ships in Antarctic waters including the Esperanza that had the speed capability of being able to stay constantly with the Japanese fleet. The 30 million dollar Esperanza was the perfect ship for shutting down illegal Japanese whaling. Instead, Greenpeace used it as a filming platform. Greenpeace also had a refueling ship to re-supply their two vessels. Despite this, the Greenpeace ships stayed only one week longer than Sea Shepherd and returned to Cape Town with plenty of fuel in their tanks.
"I visted the Esperanza in Cape Town," said