The homecoming for the Japanese whaling fleet on March 21, 2011 in Tokyo Bay was a very subdued affair, and most certainly a relief for the captains and crew of this notorious killing fleet. Sea Shepherd forced the whalers into an ignoble retreat from the Southern Ocean in mid February, resulting in much criticism from politicians and media who claimed that the whalers' retreat was a cowardly decision.

Considering the recent tragedy in Japan, the disgrace of the Japanese whaling fleet is not much of a story. The Nisshin Maru factory ship, the ship we call the Cetacean Death Star, and the rest of the whaling fleet were still at sea when the earthquake and tsunami struck. In an effort to redeem themselves in the eyes of their countrymen, the Nisshin Maru will be soon doing something really useful - shipping supplies north to aid victims of the tsunami and earthquake.

Our hearts and sympathies do go out to the men and women in the whaling fleet who may have lost family and friends to the disaster. I personally know how frustrating it is to be at sea when there is a loss in the family. During the recent New Zealand earthquake, the officers aboard the HMNZ Wellington while in the Ross Sea, did not immediately inform their crew to spare them the anxiety. We do not know what the Japanese whalers knew of the disaster or even when they knew it, but we can only imagine the anguish some may have suffered.

We have received suggestions from our supporters that Sea Shepherd should give aid to the victims of the earthquake in Japan. Given that we are a non-profit organization, we cannot legally do so. We are not a relief agency and we cannot legally participate in a relief operation with funds donated to marine conservation work. It would also be seen by some as opportunistic considering we were not involved in relief efforts in India after the tsunami, or in Haiti or New Zealand after their earthquakes. Furthermore, our ships would not be permitted in Japanese waters.

It seems that because of this tragedy that some people expect us to feel guilty for our efforts to oppose Japanese whaling, overfishing, and the slaughter of the dolphins...we do not. The earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear reactor disasters are completely unrelated to the fact that the Japanese are illegally whaling, overfishing, and brutally killing dolphins.

The nuclear reactor "accident" was hardly an accident, it was negligence. The United States has been warning Japan and other nations for decades about the dangers of situating nuclear reactor sites on the coastline, above or near fault lines. We were always told the same thing and that the possibility of an accident was zero. The Japanese government is solely responsible for the negligence in covering up concerns and ignoring safety flaws in their reactors. They also lied to their own people and continue to do so just as they have always lied about the whaling industry.

What is relevant to Sea Shepherd is the possible consequences of the recent tragedy in regards to marine conservation efforts. Many of the northern dolphin killing boats were destroyed or damaged, which may have an impact on their ability to continue killing Dall's Porpoises in the near future. In Taiji, the cruelty of the fishermen was dramatized by the tsunami when they refused to release the caged dolphins and allowed the wave to smash the bodies of the helpless dolphins onto the rocks. We expect that these die-hard sadistic dolphin killers will continue their horrific slaughter and we will continue to oppose them.

As for the whaling fleet, the outlook can be influenced two ways. When they retreated from the Southern Ocean, I was 75 percent certain they would not return next season because (1) they know we can stop them, (2) they are deeply in debt to the Japanese government, and (3) whaling is becoming more and more of an embarrassment to the government of Japan. This recent disaster will most likely be the final end to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, and make it a 100 percent certainty that they will not return. The economic hit that Japan has just taken will make further subsidies very unpopular.

Of course, there is another possibility that Japan may once again see whale meat as a cheap food for a nation in crisis just as the whaling fleet was organized in 1946 by American Army General Douglas MacArthur to provide cheap protein for post-war civilian populations. Such a move would be blatantly commercial and thus illegal. Japan may appeal to world sympathy for justification, but most likely, they won't get it.

We will be watching the Japanese whaling fleet closely. If it looks like they intend to return, then Sea Shepherd will also return.

Whalers return home Whalers return home
Whalers return home Whalers return home
Sea Shepherd
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
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Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
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Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
The Sam Simon has arrived in Mexico to join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society-led campaign, Operation Milagro III. A partnership between Sea Shepherd and the Mexican authorities, Operation Milagro III intercepts, intervenes and interrupts any illegal activities found in the Vaquita refuge in the...
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
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Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
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Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
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Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
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Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...