Chris Carter, the New Zealand Minister for the Environment knows where the Japanese whaling fleet is illegally slaughtering whales. But New Zealand is not sharing this information with the public and especially not with anyone who wants to defend and save whales.
Why? Because the Japanese have asked them not to. "This is like a Police Chief finding out that a bank robbery is in progress but refusing to tell the his officers which bank because the thieves asked him not to," said Captain Watson from the Sea Shepherd flagship, Farley Mowat. In response, Sea Shepherd has offered a reward of USD$25,000 for anyone who will provide them with coordinates which lead them successfully to the Japanese whaling fleet.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force recently spotted and videotaped the illegal Japanese whaling operations while on patrol for illegal fishing operations in the Ross Sea. [See video at bottom of this page] According to Sea Shepherd, the illegal taking of commercially valuable Antarctic toothfish is a concern to New Zealand because they fish for the toothfish, but since New Zealand does not have a whaling industry, the Japanese are not competition. The Japanese are, therefore, free to ruthlessly slaughter whales in areas where third world fishing vessels are seized and confiscated for similar illegal operations.
"Chris Carter seems to be taking his orders from Tokyo," said Farley Mowat crewmember Jaime Brown from Dunedin, New Zealand. "There are New Zealanders down here in hostile conditions trying to stop the illegal slaughter of whales and our environment minister is more worried about Japanese commercial interests. He will find that he won't be getting many votes from the land of the rising sun and less from New Zealanders who care about whales."
Two Sea Shepherd ships the Farley Mowat and the Robert Hunter continue to patrol the remote waters of the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in search of Japanese pirate whalers. "The position of the New Zealand government in protecting the illegal interests of Japanese whalers is disappointing," said Robert Hunter Engineer Willie Houtman of Auckland. "While we risk our lives to defend whales in the Sanctuary, Carter provides aid and comfort to the enemies of the whales."
The Sea Shepherd ships are not patrolling the Sanctuary to protest whaling. The objective of the campaign is to enforce international conservation law against illegal whaling activities in accordance with the principles established for intervention by non-governmental organizations enshrined in the United Nations World Charter for Nature. The Society is hoping that someone will come forward and offer them coordinates for the accurate location of the Japanese Whaling Fleet.
Information can be relayed to our head office in Friday Harbor, Washington, at 212-220-2302 or faxed to 360-370-5651or e-mailed to [email protected]
If desired, informant's identity may remain confidential.
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