Saturday, 5 February 2011

“This whaling fleet belongs to us now – lock, stock, and smoking harpoon gun.”

What a great header and what a great, and undoubtedly the best season so far, for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. As ever, tireless in its efforts to stop the slaughter of innocents in the South Atlantic. Could this be the last of the season ever? Read more of Captain Paul Watson in the second article. …hopefully it will be the last.

This latest report from 70 Degrees South. - At 70 Degrees South there is no God*

Sea Shepherd News

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 Sea Shepherd Successfully finds the Nisshin Maru Position: 70 Degrees 45 Minutes South 171 Degrees 45 Minutes West

After a 26-day pursuit covering over 4,000 miles, the Steve Irwin caught up with the Nisshin Maru at 1800 hours on January 25th, 2011 AEST.

“We finally have this serial killing death ship where we want them, and from here on in, we intend to ride their ass until the end of the whaling season,” said Captain Paul Watson from onboard the Steve Irwin. “This whaling fleet belongs to us now – lock, stock, and smoking harpoon gun.”

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira originally found the Japanese whaling fleet on December 31st, 2010 before the whalers had an opportunity to kill a single whale. Unfortunately, two of the harpoon vessels blocked the approach to the Nisshin Maru and the factory ship was able to flee with the faster harpoon vessels tailing the two larger Sea Shepherd ships to relay Sea Shepherd movements to the fleeing Nisshin Maru. The Gojira was prevented from immediately pursuing the Nisshin Maru due to risky ice conditions.

The Gojira shot ahead of the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker as the Nisshin Maru fled westward. On January 10th, the Gojira encountered the refueling and supply ship the Sun Laurel. On January 12th, the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin caught up with the tanker and began to tail the Korean-owned vessel allowing the Gojira to continue westward in pursuit of the Nisshin Maru.

The Sun Laurel headed north and east to put as much distance between the factory ship and themselves as they could. The Sea Shepherd ships followed knowing it was essential to cut off the supplies to the whaling fleet. Two of the three harpoon vessels followed and for 23 days we had confirmation that these two vessels had not taken a single whale. More Sea Shepherd News

A more comprehensive report of the situation as of Sunday 23/01/11

Sea Shepherd News
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Halfway Through Operation No Compromise
Report from Captain Paul Watson

This is Day 54 of Operation No Compromise and Day 25 since Sea Shepherd Conservation Society intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet. We are about halfway through the campaign, with approximately another 54 days to go until the Antarctic winter begins to evict the whalers from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and another season of slaughter will be over…hopefully it will be the last.

Despite that this is going to be the most successful year yet for Sea Shepherd’s mission and whale kill quotas will be lower than ever before, the fact remains that this is a very difficult and complex campaign taking place over hundreds of thousands of square miles in adverse weather conditions, amidst icebergs and floes. It involves coordinating three vessels, a helicopter, and 88 crewmembers. It also involves complex logistics like refueling, provisioning, repairs, aerial and ice surveys, communications, and numerous other details.

It is never an easy task and not quite as simplistic as many of our detractors seem to think it is. Our campaigns are major Antarctic expeditions in every possible way. They are grander in terms of ships, crew, and equipment than any of the famous Shackleton, Scott, or Amundsen expeditions of nearly a century ago.

On the very positive side during this campaign, we were able to locate the Japanese whaling fleet before they killed a single whale. We were able to intercept the Sun Laurel refueling vessel to cut off supplies and fuel to the Nisshin Maru and the rest of her whaling fleet. Most importantly of all, we have kept two of the three harpoon vessels out of whaling operations completely, while the third continues to run along with the Nisshin Maru.

We have chased the whaling fleet for over 4,000 miles for the last 24 days. Are whales being killed? Possibly, but not many.

We have not yet located the Nisshin Maru, but we usually do not do so until February of each campaign. Last year we did not find the factory ship until almost mid February, and we were still able to save more whales than the whalers were able to kill. More Sea Shepherd News

*Pedro Monteiro, far right.
At 50 Degrees South there is no law.
At 60 Degrees South there is no hope.
At 70 Degrees South there is no God.
One laid back bugger if ever there were.

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