December 31, 2011 AWST (Australia Western Standard Time)
The Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot are struggling slowly northward through another storm.
“We are watching the Brigitte Bardot very closely,” said Captain Paul Watson. “The seas are getting rougher and the winds are increasing and there is a great deal of pressure being put on the damaged pontoon of the Brigitte Bardot. It looks like we will have to struggle through these conditions for another 24 hours.”
The crew of the Brigitte Bardot are wearing their survival suits around the clock. A story in the West Australian claiming that Sea Shepherd abandoned the crew of the Brigitte Bardot is false and misleading. The Japanese government security ship Shonan Maru #2 continues to tail the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot.
The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker continues to pursue the Japanese whaling fleet. It may take two weeks for the Steve Irwin to rejoin the chase, but last season the Bob Barker was successful in shutting down the whaling operations on its own.
“This is not going to be a successful year for the whalers,” said Bob Barker First Officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden. “They have never arrived so late before and they have spent more money for security to protect the whalers from Sea Shepherd than they will ever gain this year from profits from whaling. We continue to pursue them as they continue to run eastward to avoid us. We will not let up on them until they leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
This is the eighth year that Sea Shepherd has come to the Southern Ocean to intervene against illegal Japanese whaling. “Our objective from the beginning was to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically, to bankrupt them. We have succeeded in doing so,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Now the task is to defeat them politically. We are under no illusion that this will be easy. The whalers survive because of massive Japanese government subsidies and much of this subsidy was allocated from the tsunami earthquake defense fund. This whale hunt is now a glorified, state sponsored, welfare project existing only to appease extreme right wing nationalist elements in Japan. We are now dealing with fanatics seeking to kill whales for no other reason than nationalistic pride.”
Operation Divine Wind
site for information about our
2011-12 Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign