After we escorted the whalers out of the whales' safe haven for more than 7 days, the Japanese whale processing vessel Nisshin Maru re-entered the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary this morning.
Our vessel Steve Irwin warned them in Japanese that they were illegally entering a whale sanctuary. The Steve Irwin began to circle the Nisshin Maru causing the massive Japanese factory ship to stop dead in the water at 60 degrees 10 Minutes South and 76 Degrees 45 Minutes East. In calm waters with slight snow flurries and surrounded by icebergs, the Nisshin Maru has been stopped for two hours.
The objective of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is to shut down illegal Japanese whaling operations, so we are quite pleased with this development. Due to our efforts, the Japanese whaling fleet has not killed one whale since February 5th.
With the Nisshin Maru stopped in the water and the Steve Irwin circling, a pod of Humpback whales surfaced between the two ships to take a look. The crew of the Steve Irwin cheered with joy to see the whales they are protecting swimming freely and without danger of being killed.