Sea Shepherd locates whaling fleet before the slaughter

For the first time in seven years of campaigning in the southern ocean Sea Shepherd have been able to locate 2 harpoon vessels in the whaling fleet before whaling was able to begin.

The Sea Shepherd vessels Bob Barker located on New Year's Eve 2010 an unidentified harpoon vessel on the edge of the Antarctic ice at 148 degrees west. Shortly after the Sea Shepherd flagship, the Steve Irwin, found the Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru #2 sitting in the ice some 60 miles to the north.

Update: Indybay IMC: Whaling stymied by Sea Shepherd: First clashes among the Antarctic ice | Video: Dancing with Death Machines at the Bottom of the World
Wikileaks: Garrett stood his ground on whaling compromise; Sea Shepherd tax status targeted

The location of the Nisshan Maru whaling factory ship is still unknown, with the third Sea Shepherd vessel, the Gojira, and the Steve Irwin based helicopter, the Nancy Burnet continuing the search.

The whaling fleet left Japan very late this year and also announced a whaling area double the size in the hope to avoid an early confrontation with Sea Shepherd. Their luck has run out before they could even start the whaling slaughter in the southern ocean whale sanctuary.

Japan self issued a scientific permit for a four-ship fleet to slaughter up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales this summer. Humpbacks were also included in the permit but Japan has suspended catching this species "as long as progress is being made in the discussions on the future of the IWC".

It has been reported that Armed coast guard troops are stationed on Japanese whaling ships. Last year the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil was severly damaged in a collision with the Shonan Maru 2, and was later scuttled.

Back in Japan, the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) has admitted that their officials have received free whale meat from the company contracted to perform the whaling. The two Japanese Greenpeace activists who attempted to highlight this corruption have been vindicated, according to Greenpeace.

The Australian Government has launched legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice. Opposition spokesperson Greg Hunt has urged the Government seek an interim injunction from the court as proceeding may take until 2013 for a decision.

Update Jan 1, 2011: According to a report in the Washington Post a clash between Sea Shepherd and whalers has already ocurred. While talking to an Associated Press correspondent by telephone from his ship Paul Watson said that the whalers had began blasting one of Sea Shepherd's inflatable zodiacs with a water cannon. "They just turned their cannons on our Zodiac," Watson told The AP. "Right at this moment."




The whole "scientific whaling" program is just a scam. The IWC are not about protecting whales but about regulating a whaling industry. They are part of the scam and are quite happy to support junk science. If the Japanese want to research whales, most of them would need to be alive to find valid results. The questions raised today about whale ecology needs to be about studying living whales, not tonnes and tonnes of whale meat! Well done to the Sea Shepherd and the amazing crew. How many people would want to spend Christmas and New Year in the freezing Antarctic, in dangerous circumstances, defending living whales against the massive economic power of Japan? They are real heroes of fiction.

TAKE ACTION! There are many things you can do to help save the whales and dolphins from slaughter. Please join us in our continuing efforts by applying pressure to the Japanese government and their embassies and consulates worldwide to take action.

WRITE: Send a letter, e-mail, and/or fax the Prime Minister of Japan, the Minister of Fisheries, your local embassy or consulate and other Japanese officials to let them know that this barbaric slaughter is unacceptable.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
1-6-1 Nagata-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8914 JAPAN

Online comment form #1:
Online comment form #2:

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Masahiko Yamada
1-2-1 Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8950 JAPAN
Tel: +81-3-3502-8111
Fax: +81-3-3502-8220

Contact form:

List of Japanese embassies and consulates in Australia

Australia - Embassy of Japan
112 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, Canberra A.C.T. 2600, Australia
phone: (61-2) 6273-3244
Fax: (61-2) 6273-1848

Sydney - Consulate-General of Japan
Level 34, Colonial Centre, 52 Martin Place, Sydney, N.S.W. 2000, Australia
(G.P.O. Box No. 4125, Sydney 2001)
Phone: (61-2) 9231-3455
Fax: (61-2) 9221-6157

Perth - Consulate-General of Japan
21st Floor, The Forrest Centre, 221 St. George's Terrace, Perth, W.A. 6000, Australia
(P.O. Box 7347, Cloisters Square, Perth W.A. 6850)
Phone: (61-8) 9480-1800
Fax: (61-8) 9321-2030

Brisbane - Consulate-General of Japan
17th Floor, 12 Creek Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia
Phone: (61-7) 3221-5188
Fax: (61-7) 3229-0878

Cairns - Branch Office in Cairns, Consulate-General of Japan at Brisbane
Level 15, Cairns Corporate Tower, 15 Lake Street, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia
Phone: (61-7) 4051-5177
Fax: (61-7) 4051-5377

Melbourne - Consulate-General of Japan
45th Floor, Melbourne Central Tower, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
Phone: (61-3) 9639-3244
Fax: (61-3) 9639-3820


In order to spread the word about what is happening in Japan, we need media coverage to inform the public on these important issues.

  • Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers
  • Call TV and radio stations to ask them to cover this important news
  • You can offer Sea Shepherd telephone number 1-360-370-5650, so the media can contact us for interviews with Sea Shepherd President and Founder Captain Paul Watson

And you can support Sea Shepherd by volunteering or donations.

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