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Sea Shepherd has shut down illegal Japanese whaling

Steve Irwin Joins Pursuit of Nisshin Maru

photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd

Position: 63 Degrees 43 Minutes South 81 Degrees 26 Minutes East

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin joined the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker this morning at 0700 Hours (Sydney time). Both Sea Shepherd ships are now on the tail of the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru.

The Japanese fleet was running fast to the Northeast not knowing that the Steve Irwin was on a course of Southwest coming directly for them. With the fleet doing 15 knots, and the Steve Irwin doing 15 knots, the Steve Irwin and the whaling fleet closed the gap at 30 knots cutting the rendezvous time in half.

The Steve Irwin sat motionless by an iceberg for two hours at a distance of thirty miles to allow the Nisshin Maru to continue towards it. At a distance of only three miles, the Steve Irwin got underway and intercepted the Nisshin Maru.

photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd

As the Steve Irwin passed by the Nisshin Maru, the factory ship turned on their water cannons and were surprised when the Steve Irwin responded with a more powerful water cannon that had a couple of the whalers diving for the bridge doors as the frigid water struck their bridge wing deck.
The Steve Irwin is presently tailing the Nisshin Maru a few cable lengths and slightly to the port side of the factory ship. Across from the Steve Irwin, the Bob Barker is tailing the Nisshin Maru slightly to the starboard side.

Following in the wake of the Nisshin Maru are the Japanese vessels Shonan Maru 2, Yushin Maru 1 and Yushin Maru 2. There is no sign of the Yushin Maru 3.

Six ships, two from Sea Shepherd and four vessels from the Japanese fleet, are heading at full speed northeastwardly.

"Not a single whale has died since the Bob Barker intercepted the fleet at 0100 Hours on February 6th. It is now the third day that the whaling fleet has been unable to kill a whale. We intend to turn these three whaling free days into three whaling free weeks," said Captain Paul Watson. "I am confident that once again we will severely cut their kill quotas and we will once again negate their profits."

photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd

The Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker have enough fuel to pursue the whaling fleet for another month.
"It does not matter where they go, east or west along the Antarctic Coast," said Steve Irwin 1st Officer Locky MacLean. "We intend to stick to their rear like glue and we will not allow a single whale to be loaded onto the decks of that foul floating abattoir."

There are 41 crew (29 men and 12 women) on board the Steve Irwin from Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, France, Japan, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States (15 nationalities).

There are 30 (6 women and 24 men) crew on board the Bob Barker from Australia, New Zealand, United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, and South Africa (6 nationalities).

Originally published on on 8 Feb 10. See also: "Bob Barker Rammed by Illegal Whaler" of 6 Feb 10, "Ban whaling vessels from using our ports" of 16 Jan 10, "Twilight Samurai pride clinging to a right to pillage distant whales in foreign oceans" of 7 Jan 10, "Japanese whaler rams and sinks anti-whaling vessel in Antartic" of 7 Jan 10.



How magnaminous that Japan is considering scaling back their whale killings in the Antarctic, considering it was not "research" or legal anyway! Thanks to the inaction of our Federal government, Japan has the audacity to choose when and if they will scale back their slaughter. When do criminals get the luxury of this choice?

If Kevin Rudd enacted on his pre-election promises, it would have been stopped as it should have been during Howard's government.
The whole whale poaching exercise was a marketing ploy, to defy the International Whaling Commission's "paper tiger", the ban on commercial whaling. Now that they have ensured a public taste for whale flesh, and have largely depleted fish stocks, whales in international waters will be on the menu!

Nothing is safe or sacred from human plunder, and even the most magnificent animals of the ocean are all just considered "resources" rather than wildlife to be honoured, protected and free.

The 1970s saw many whale species become almost extinct, and thanks to our government's procrastinations and virtual endorsement of Japan's whale slaughter, this could happen again.

Good, Sea Shepherd is exposing Rudd's incompetence.

Rudd should be:

1. Reimbursing Sea Shepherd for doing the Australian Navy's job
2. Filing an international action against the Japanese for its willful ramming of the Ady Gil endangering life.
3. Jointly with New Zealand funding civil action against the Japanese for the replacement cost of the Ady Gil, estimated about $2.5 million.

Since the Japanese has stuff all money left its bank, Japan should hang its head in shame.

Japan has lost face - it is arrogant while being incompetent.
Rudd as lost credibility. Garrett has lost credibility.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

Japanese cabinet decided to bring Sea Shepherd Conservation Society activist Peter Bethune back to Tokyo for an investigation that could result in criminal charges. Since when do criminals get to make decisions about another, lesser "criminal"?

Japanese whalers threatened the lives of activists by ramming and destroying the vessel, the Ady Gill. The vessel cost $3.4 million in donated money.
Already there are two Greenpeace whistle-blowers, charged with intercepting whale meat as it was being smuggled from a Japanese whaling ship to the black market, threatened with 10 years jail. The whaling industry is becoming a mafia!
Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada is ready for whaling talk with Kevin Rudd. When in Tokyo in December Mr Rudd repeated to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama that as a last resort Australia could take international legal action against research whaling in the Southern Ocean. However, they have no right to go taking these whales, which are over 12,000km from the shores of Japan, and now is the time for "last resort" action!

Japanese officials do not regard Mr Rudd’s threatened action as having any likelihood of success.

Nothing will be achieved by more "talks" with Japan on this topic, and procrastination has allowed Japan's criminal activities to continue! Civilians and NGOs should not be doing the job of law enforcers, in a dangerous location, against Japan's massive economic and military powers.

Sea Shepherd should be reimbursed for doing the Australian Navy's job, and our government must ensure the release of Peter Buthane, and be taking action against the Japanese for their wilful ramming of the Ady Gil and slaughtering "protected" wildlife.

I have had a gutful of Ruddism (hollow popularism) and his treatment of Australian values as second rate, as if he was a foreigner with disrespect.

Rudd has reneged on his 2007 election promise to send an Australian ship to monitor Japan's annual slaughter of 1000 minke, humpback and fin whales.

Rudd has reneged on his pre-election undertaking to exercise Australia's right to take Japan to the International Court of Justice over its whale hunting expeditions in the Southern Ocean. What is stopping Rudd except his bias for Japan relations ahead of Australian values?

Rudd's turning his political back on Japan's harpoon whaling in Australian Antarctic waters and letting Japan refuel in Australia is worse than irresponsible. Rudd is Japanese in his complicity.

Japan ignores Australia's whale sanctuary and condones an unprofitable, low demand and antiquainted 19th Century practice of whale harpooning, then tells international lies justifying some scientific spin that only discredits Japan's reputation.

Japan's Nippon Paper has been slaughtering Australian native forests for its immoral woodchip paper trade out of its habitat auschwitz at its Twofold Bay mill at Eden for 20 years!

How would Japan like it if Gunns wanted to woodchip its sacred Aokigahara forest around the base of Mount Fuji?

I have had a gutful of foreign exploitation and the bastards can bugger off and take that defecting hypocrite Rudd with them. Australia has no time for patsies.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885