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Sea Shepherd Scares Off Japanese Whaling Fleet

January 7, 2006

Sea Shepherd Scares Off Japanese Whaling Fleet

No Whales Will Be Killed While the Chase is On

At 0800 Hours on January 8, 2005 (Australian Western Standard Time) the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's flagship Farley Mowat arrived at the position where the Japanese whaling fleet is operating - 36 nautical miles inside the Australian Antarctic Territory. The conservation organization campaign to save whales began on December 9th, 2005, when the Farley Mowat departed Melbourne, Australia, headed for the Antarctic Southern Ocean to stop Japanese whalers from killing whales.

Today, when Sea Shepherd came upon the whale processing ship Nisshin Maru, the Japanese ship was accompanied by a large tanker, the Oriental Bluebird, and was waiting for the harpoon vessels (the catcher ships) to return. The Farley Mowat dispatched three inflatables and a helicopter to catch up with the Nisshin Maru in advance. When the Farley Mowat came within a half a nautical mile of the Japanese factory ship, the whalers began to run at full speed northward.

Presently, the Farley Mowat is in pursuit. The Farley Mowat is not as fast as the Nisshin Maru but can keep the Japanese on the run for at least the rest of the day to prevent them from transferring any dead whales from the harpoon vessels. Those catcher ships will not kill any whales when they know they cannot reach their mother ship.

On Christmas day (Australian Time), the Farley Mowat intercepted the Nisshin Maru for the first time. During this confrontation, the whaling ship turned and purposefully headed on a collision course with the conservation ship. Captain Paul Watson, founder and president of Sea Shepherd, ordered his crew to deploy a mooring line, and when the Nisshin Maru saw this, they backed off to avoid their propeller from being fouled.

The Japanese whaling operation is in violation of many international laws and regulations, including:

  • 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 Japanese are also in violation of the Australian laws protecting the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.
• They are violating the IWC moratorium on the use of factory ships to process any protected stock which includes the whales they are hunting - minke and fin whales.


Later this same day, Captain Watson reported from onboard the Farley Mowat: "They have been running all day and they have not been whaling. The whalers are now 17 miles outside of the Australia Antarctic Territory. We ordered them to leave, and they left."

The Farley Mowat continues to pursue them.

The last time the Farley Mowat intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet, the whalers fled westward for 11 days and covered over 3,000 miles. They went from the extreme east end of the whaling area to the extreme west end of the area.

When the Farley Mowat arrived in the morning, it appeared that the factory ship was off-loading whale meat to the Panamanian registered vessel Oriental Bluebird.

"There are sushi bars in Tokyo in desperate need of these 'research materials'," said Captain Watson. "It appears they can't wait for the whaling fleet to return in March."

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society regards this whale slaughter as an international crime against nature and humanity.

The bottom line - no whaling today and the whalers are on the run once again.


Photos


 

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