Sea Shepherd claims victory, this year at least, in stopping illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary! The cruel practice of harpooning whales in the back, dying in agony, is over for now.
It’s official – the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits in the Southern Ocean, at least for this season. And if they return next season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be ready to resume their efforts to obstruct and disable illegal Japanese whaling operations.
“The Nisshin Maru made a significant course change immediately after the Japanese government made it official that the whaling fleet has been recalled,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen from the Bob Barker. “She looks like she’s going home!”
The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker has been tailing the Japanese Nisshin Maru factory ship since February 9th making it impossible for the whalers to continue their illegal whaling operations.
“I have a crew of 88 very happy people from 23 different nations including Japan and they are absolutely thrilled that the whalers are heading home and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is now indeed a real sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson.
Pilot Chris Aultman and crewmember Mark Cullivan in an emotional embrace. Photo: Barbara VeigaPilot Chris Aultman and crewmember Mark Cullivan in an emotional embrace.
Photo: Barbara VeigaThe Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira will remain in the Southern Ocean to escort the Japanese ships northward. “We will not leave the whale sanctuary until the last whaling ship has departed,” said Gojira captain Locky MacLean.