The end of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean?

"The whale war in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over. The whales have won!" announced Captain Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin on Saturday.

The Nisshin Maru whaling factory ship late last week made a pivotal course change north, as the Japanese Fisheries Agency announced that the whaling fleet had been recalled for this season.


Whaling factory ship found by Sea Shepherd activists in the Ross Sea

This has been a disasterous year for the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has fielded 3 ships taking out of action two harpoon vessels while the Nisshin Maru fled accompanied by one harpoon ship. Now the Nisshin Maru has been found in the Ross Sea.

Wikileaks: Garrett stood his ground on whaling compromise, Sea Shepherd tax status targeted

Cables released by wikileaks on January 1st, 2011 reveal Japan was pressuring the US Government to remove Sea Shepherd's tax exemption status as a sweetener to negotiating a compromise deal in the International Whaling Commission that would have reduced whale quotas but legitimated commercial whaling. The US Government and Japan were deeply involved in a compromise deal on whaling which would legitimate a commercial catch quota for Japan. Australia remained steadfast against any moves to legitimate whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary or Australian Antarctic Territory.

Related: Sea Shepherd on the wikileaks revelations

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


Anti-whaling conservationist Peter Bethune's show trial - solidarity call out

The trial of Peter Bethune began on 27th May in Tokyo. Peter pleaded guilty to charges of trespass, property destruction, carrying a knife and disruption of commercial acitivty. He is contesting the charge of assault. The charges arise fromhis Febrauy 15th, 2010 boarding of the illegal Japanese whaling vessel the Shonan Maru No.2. Peter was attempting to deliver a citizens arrest warrant, along with an invoice for the loss of his ship which was sunk earlier by the Japanese whalers.


Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd criticize commercial whaling resumption proposal

Representatives to the International Whaling Commission from a dozen countries are meeting in Washington negotiating a compromise agreement for the limited resumption of commercial whaling with strong controls for the next ten years. Conservationists from both Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace have attacked the proposal, "At the moment, it appears that the whales are making all the concessions, not the whalers and this proposal keeps dying whaling industries alive and not the whales." said Greenpeace Japan Programme Director Junichi Sato.

Japan continues Atlantic bluefin tuna drive to extinction

CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) has failed to agree to any measures to protect endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna, which is heading for commercial extinction due to overfishing caused by Japanese market demand and consumption for sushi and sashimi. Japan's Prime Minister has welcomed the vote against the Bluefin Tuna ban.

Ady Gil Captain boards whaling ship to make citizen's arrest

Captain Peter Bethune has boarded the Shonan Maru No 2 to make a citizen's arrest of the captain of the vessel. Peter Bethune's ship, the New Zealand registered high speed trimaran the Ady Gil owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Foundation, was sunk by the Japanese whaling ship the Shonan Maru 2 on January 6 after it was purposefully rammed endangering the lives of the six crew.

Related: Sea Shepherd vows to continue campaign after destruction of Ady Gil by whalers | Whaling conflict tensions continue with Conservation ship rammed


Whaling conflict tensions continue with Conservation ship rammed

The Japanese whaling harpoon vessel the Yushin Maru 3 has rammed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Bob Barker about 180 miles off Cape Darnley in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The ramming penetrated the Bob Barker's hull creating a 3-foot long 4-inch deep gash in the mid starboard side of the Sea Shepherd vessel above the waterline. The Yushin Maru suffered minor damage to its hand rail and hull. No crew from either ship were injured.

Related: Sea Shepherd finds Whalers as Greens pressure Government on whaling spy flights


Sea Shepherd finds whalers as Greens pressure government on whaling spy flights

The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker has found and re-engaged the Japanese whaling factory ship, the Nisshin Maru at at 67 degrees 10 minutes South and 67 Degrees 07 Minutes East. The Nisshin Maru and two harpoon vessels were found on February 6, 2010 at approximately 0430 hours (Melbourne time).

The Sea Shepherd flagship, the Steve Irwin, is en route to join the action after refueling and reprovisioning at Fremantle in late January.