Operation No Compromise
Crew Blog

January 3, 2011

Welcoming the New Year from the Southern Ocean

Izumi Stephens
Translator, Steve Irwin

Izumi StephensI live on Bainbridge Island, Washington, only a short 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle, I am also a mother of two kids, and work as a massage therapist in a studio next to my home.  I am the first Japanese translator to appear on the Sea Shepherd crew without a facemask protecting my identity, as was the case on all past campaigns. My mission is to be involved in what's happening onboard this ship and during campaign with the Japanese whalers and to inform the people of Japan of "the realities" in the Southern Ocean without censorship from the Japanese media.

It wasn't easy decision for me to take part in this campaign. I have the responsibility of taking care of kids and maintaining my job. I am a single mother who lost my husband six years ago.  No one is close to my family except my dear friends and clients. I love each and every kind of animal. I am so lucky to live near the water where I occasionally can see bald eagles, whales, orcas, and seals passing by my home.

If the oceans die, we will all die. It's so simple, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to come to this conclusion. But, the reality is not so simple.  Every year, the Japanese whaling fleet kills a thousand whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. No one stops this from happening except for Sea Shepherd and that's why I chose to be here, in the remote and cold waters far away from home. Each year, approximately nearly 200 pregnant whales are killed, and their unborn babies get discarded into the ocean. Over 100 infants and young whales are killed each year as well.  We need to stop this senseless slaughter.

I will refuse to accept if my country's government calls this murder a “tradition.” The tradition should not include any bloody sacrifice of animals.  Only beautiful traditions should be assumed by the next generation.


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