Wednesday, February 04, 2009
All for the Whales
By Dave Nickarz (3rd Engineer)
We are now in our fourth day of chasing the Nisshin Maru-the factory whaling ship that has no business being in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. We're all pretty glad they're running from us because that means no whales can be killed. The engineers have some more work to do with the increased speed of the chase, and we have to deal with the increased air pollution as well.
This is all worth the price if fewer whales are killed this season. During my shift in the engine room I make the time to take brief visits to the bridge. Sometimes the Nisshin Maru is a mile away and obscured by fog, and other times it is only tens of meters away with their water cannons on full bore onto our bow.
I hope the whalers feel even a small fraction of the fear that the whales have to endure. Hundreds of Minke whales and tens of Fin whales will have exploding harpoons enter their bodies and shards of metal thrust into their internal organs. These whales will never know why they are being slaughtered- for commercial gain, false science and national pride.
We had the privilege of watching Fin and Minke whales swim along side us as we chased their killers from the Ross Sea recently. We're putting the whalers on the run while the whales swim free. It was as if the whales were thanking us for this. But it really is the least we can do.
P.O. Box 2616, Friday Harbor, WA 98250