Whalers free to harpoon: Sea Shepherd


Nearly a month after entering Antarctic waters the key Japanese whaling vessel, the factory ship Nisshin Maru, is eluding anti-whaling activists.

Instead both Sea Shepherd ships in the Southern Ocean were today being tailed again by Japanese whale hunting ships, leaving one harpoon ship apparently free to supply the Nisshin Maru.

Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson believes the whalers have left their expected “scientific survey” hunting ground to the south of Australia, and are now in the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand

“Every year they alternate,” he said. “But not this year. Although the whalers attempted to begin their killing operations in the waters south-west of Australia, the Sea Shepherd ships have chased the entire whaling fleet ever eastwards.”

“This is an average of 150 miles a day, leaving very little time to kill whales with only one harpoon vessel.”

Mr Watson said the Bob Barker encountered the Yushin Maru No. 3 in the Ross Sea yesterday, more than a week after shaking off the Japanese ship at Tasmania’s sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Meanwhile, crews from his ship the Steve Irwin were engaged in another bitter exchange with the Yushin Maru No. 2 on Saturday.

In the hour-long attack, the activists used a high powered launcher to fire bottles of paint and butyric acid at the Japanese ship, the Institute of Cetacean Research reported.

The Yushin Maru No. 2 used water pumps, a mist fire extinguisher and towed a warning buoy in efforts to make the Sea Shepherd vessels keep its distance, an ICR statement said. There were no injuries to the Japanese crew.

Mr Watson said the run by the whaling ships out of their usual work area illustrated they really had no scientific agenda.

“This is not about science and it never has been,” he said. “It’s not even about profit any more because we have negated their profits. It’s simply about pride. Whaling in the Southern Ocean has become a heavily subsidised welfare project for an archaic industry that has no place in the 21st century.”

The ICR does not comment on the movements of the whaling fleet.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald



~ by FSVSF Admin on 23 January, 2012.

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