Captain Paul Watson today sent a message to the Captain and crew of the Shonan Maru No. 2 wishing them and their families a Merry Christmas:
"Shonan Maru No. 2, Shonan Maru No. 2, this is the whale conservation and protection ship Steve Irwin.
This is a message from the captain and crew of the Steve Irwin to the captain and crew of the Shonan Maru No. 2.
As much of the rest of the world enjoys Christmas dinner and the companionship of friends and family in the comfort of their homes, our two crews are in the heavy seas of the Southern Ocean intent on two opposing missions. You, to protect the whalers from us and we, to protect the whales from you.
We may be enemies, but on this day, perhaps we can stop and reflect that despite our opposition on the high seas, we are all human beings, and all of us would rather be somewhere else if not for our duties and responsibilities.
Therefore we on the Steve Irwin would like to express our best wishes for your safety and health. We share the dangers of this unfortunate conflict in these remote and hostile seas and for that reason we share many of the same concerns.
We wish you all the best for this Christmas day and we share with you the hope that no one is harmed over the next few months as we each pursue our objectives, duties and responsibilities."
The message was translated and read in Japanese over the VHF radio Channel 16.
The Japanese crew on the Shonan Maru No. 2 have not replied.