The key to 100% success in stopping illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean is to match the whaling ships one on one.
“There are three harpoon vessels and two large Sea Shepherd ships,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Two of the three harpoon vessels have not fired a single harpoon because they are forced to tail the two Sea Shepherd ships, Steve Irwin and Bob Barker, to prevent them from closing in on the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru.”
The Nisshin Maru and one harpoon vessel have not had time to stop and kill whales as they remain on the move to avoid the two Sea Shepherd ships. The two harpoon vessels tailing the two Sea Shepherd ships keep the Nisshin Maru informed of the movements of the conservation ships preventing the Sea Shepherd crews from closing in on the factory ship.
Presently, the Steve Irwin has the harpoon vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 tailing it. The Shonan Maru No. 2, the Japanese whaling fleet security ship, has fallen back thanks to the efforts of the three Forest Rescue activists who boarded the vessel, resulting in an Australian government order to transfer them to the Australian Customs vessel Ocean Protector.
The Bob Barker lost the tail of the Yushin Maru No. 3 at Macquarie Island after the Australian government expelled the tailing harpoon vessel. Since then, the Yushin Maru No. 3 has likely been trying to relocate the Bob Barker.
The only vessel in a position to kill whales is the Yushin Maru.
In July 2011, Captain Paul Watson met with Greenpeace representatives at the International Whaling Commission meeting on the Isle of Jersey, where he requested that they send one of their ships to the Southern Ocean to keep the third harpoon vessel occupied. Captain Watson said that Greenpeace had the means to help shut down the entire whaling operation in the Southern Ocean by sending just one ship from their fleet to support Sea Shepherd efforts.
Greenpeace refused. They have the ships and they have the resources, but they refused.
This of course is their right, but not if they collect money under the guise of claiming that they are actually stopping illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean. They are collecting millions of dollars by saying they have ships in the Southern Ocean protecting the whales.
Sea Shepherd crew including Captain Paul Watson have had Greenpeace street canvassers tell them to their faces that not only is Greenpeace in the Southern Ocean defending whales, but also that the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker are Greenpeace ships. When Captain Watson and the others revealed who they were, they were then told that the Greenpeace canvassers were told to say that Greenpeace had these ships in the Southern Ocean.
One Sea Shepherd onshore volunteer and noted conservationist, Elissa Sursara, recorded the following conversation with a Greenpeace fundraiser outside of a Borders bookstore on Albert Street in Brisbane.
The fact remains that the only actual whales saved in the Southern Ocean have all been saved by Sea Shepherd intervention. Sea Shepherd has proven that aggressive, non-violent intervention can be highly effective. We have found the key to physically shutting down these illegal whaling operations and every year Sea Shepherd has become more effective than the year before. Last season, the whalers were only able to take 17% of their self-appointed quota, meaning that Sea Shepherd was able to save 863 whales, up from the 528 whales saved the year before.
Sea Shepherd should do just as well or better this season, but to be 100% effective Sea Shepherd needs to match the harpoon vessels one for one. That means we need to secure another ship.
We have found one. The cost is 1.5 million Euros, or just over $2 million Australian or American dollars.
Towards this goal we are looking for sponsorship.
The whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary need a fleet that is 100% effective. We need to return next season with the Steve Irwin, the Bob Barker, and our soon to be repaired fast scout vessel Brigitte Bardot. Plus we need a fourth ship - a third larger ship to tie up the third harpoon vessel and completely shut down all criminal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean.
Sea Shepherd will end whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary through patience and through strengthening our resources so as to become as strong as, or stronger than the whaling fleet.
Guaranteeing the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is a cause that we shall not abandon until we completely defeat this organized criminal enterprise that slaughters endangered and protected whales in blatant violation of international conservation law.
You can help us to launch another addition to the Sea Shepherd Southern Ocean Whale Protection fleet. Together we can drive these killers from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary forever.