ABOARD THE FARLEY MOWAT, 0630 Hours, February 9th, 2007 (0930 Hours, February 8th, PST) -
The Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter has closed in on the Japanese whaling fleet. The Sea Shepherd helicopter Kookaburra has flown over the Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru and the three harpoon vessels accompanying it. The identification of the Japanese fleet is 100% positive. The Sea Shepherd ships have covered thousands of square miles and have been searching for the whaling fleet for over 6 weeks.
The Nisshin Maru is the factory ship of the fleet. The kill ships bring the dead whales back to this factory vessel and transfer them to the 130m long processing ship where the whales are butchered and stored. The Japanese whaling fleet plans to illegally slaughter over 900 whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary this year - including 935 piked (Minke) whales and 10 fin whales.
In hot pursuit: Captain Alex Cornelissen and First Mate Peter Hammarstedt
on the bridge of the Robert Hunter
This Japanese whaling operation is in violation of many international laws and regulations, including:
- They are violating the Southern Ocean Sanctuary
- They are violating the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling.
- They are targeting endangered fin and humpback whales that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (CITES).
The Sea Shepherd flagship Farley Mowat is also closing in on the fleet and moving towards their position. The Robert Hunter, can easily outrun the Nisshin Maru. The Nisshin Maru was forced to stop its whaling activity and is now attempting to flee the area and both Sea Shepherd ships are now in full pursuit and closing in on the illegal whaling vessels of the Japanese whale killing fleet. Photos are now available.
The Japanese whaling fleet position is 66 Degrees 46 Minutes South and 169 Degrees 52 Minutes East. 122 East northeast of Sturge Island.
The objectives of the Sea Shepherd vessels are to enforce international conservation law against illegal Japanese whaling operations in accordance with the principles established by the United Nations World Charter for Nature.
The Farley Mowat has a crew of 20 under the command of Captain Paul Watson. The Robert Hunter has a crew of 37 under the command of Captain Alex Cornelissen of the Netherlands.
To read the next update on the ship's activity, click here.
Click here to learn more about Sea Shepherd's mission to save whales!