Last month, we reported on Sea Shepherd’s continued attempts to drive Japanese whalers out of the Antarctic’s Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. At that time, Sea Shepherd Australia Chairperson Bob Brown described the Japanese fleet’s actions as a “gross breach of international law,” adding that the fleet had killed at least four endangered minke whales before Sea Shepherd managed to “chase” them out of the area.
Now it seems that the Japanese whalers’ exploits could be over for good, as Sea Shepherd Australia reports that they have shut down their operations “for seven consecutive days” by securing the slipway of the Nisshin Maru (Japan’s primary whaling vessel).
Peter Hammarstedt, captain of the Bob Barker, one of Sea Shepherd’s vessels, says, “The primary strategy of our Antarctic Whale Defence Campaigns is to secure the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, and allow no dead whales to pass into this floating abattoir: We have achieved this goal. We will continue to block the slipway of this poaching ship, relentless in our mission to protect the whales and the sanctity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
As I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear, Green Monsters, January was a very bad month for the Japanese whalers. With Sea Shepherd constantly at their backs, and poor weather conditions that made their hunt difficult if not practically impossible, they were unable to kill any whales for at least fourteen days in January. Japanese whalers would normally be able to kill twenty-five whales per day during their hunt, so Sea Shepherd estimates that their disruption of the whalers’ efforts has saved the lives of nearly 350 whales to date. Woo!
Because January is usually the most profitable month for the Japanese whaling fleet, and their catch has been so paltry, the entire enterprise is starting to look decidedly unprofitable. In fact, Sea Shepherd is now hailing 2014 as the most successful year for whale protection since the 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling came into effect.
Adam Meyerson, captain of the Sam Simon (another Sea Shepherd vessel) says, “2014 has been a great year for the whales so far. Now that Sea Shepherd has a small navy, it gives us flexibility to use our ships to keep the whaling fleet on the run and out of the hunt indefinitely. We will not rest until this illegal fleet is driven from the sanctuary.”
If you, too, will not rest until this horrific practice is brought to an end, check out this anti-Japanese-whaling petition from Change.org. Sign and share today!
Image Source: Nestor Galina/Flickr