Sea Shepherd Slams Whaling
7 January 2014 at 9:29 am
Controversial Not for Profit conservation organisation Sea Shepherd Australia says it has driven the Japanese Whaling Fleet into disarray and out of the Antarctic Treaty Zone and has criticised the Coalition Government for its inaction.
The organisation says that after a 360-mile chase, the Sea Shepherd Fleet drove the Japanese whaling fleet’s factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, out of the Antarctic Treaty Zone.
"Sea Shepherd has all ships in the Japanese whaling fleet accounted for, and can confirm that the whale poaching fleet is scattered and currently not hunting whales. The harpoon ships are separated by hundreds of miles. The Nisshin Maru is on the run and unable to stop and whale in its self-designated whale-poaching grounds," according to its latest statement.
Sea Shepherd chairman is former Federal Senator and Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown, who retired from Federal Parliament in June 2012.
Brown said the Abbott Government had failed to deliver on its promise to send an aircraft to the Southern Ocean to monitor the annual whaling season.
"This bloody operation would simply not be occurring if we had Prime Ministers in Canberra and Wellington with the spine to stand up to this illegal operation," he said in Hobart.
"There should be naval vessels down there to defend Australia's sovereignty and its whales in our backyard."
The organisation said the Japanese whaling fleet was escorted across 60° S and past the northern limit of the Antarctic Treaty Zone by the Sea Shepherd ships The Sam Simon, The Steve Irwin and The Steve Irwin’s helicopter.
"The three Sea Shepherd ships are still in the Southern Ocean and will continue patrols,” Brown said.
“Should the Nisshin Maru attempt to return to the whaling grounds, Sea Shepherd will be ready to once again intercept and shut down their illegal whaling operations."
Captain of The Steve Irwin, Siddarth Chakravarty, said: “This is an optimistic start to Operation Relentless. Within a day-and-a-half we have the entire whaling fleet in disarray.”
Captain of The Sam Simon, Adam Meyerson said: “We have won this battle, but the war for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary will wage on over the coming months.”