SEA SHEPHERD’S BOB BARKER SHIP LOSES TAIL –
SEA SHEPHERD APPLAUDS AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
Feb. 1, 2013 – MELBOURNE, Australia — Earlier today at approximately 0730 AEDT the Sea Shepherd ship SSS Bob Barker was sailing up the East side of Macquarie Island with the good news that the Japanese whaling fleet security vessel, the Shonan Maru No. 2 had not come within 15 miles of the island.
Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt said that, “at approximately 0700 AEDT, we were contacted via radio by the base commander from Macquarie Island who asked for the position of the Shonan Maru No. 2, the armed Japanese Government vessel that is the attack dog of Japan’s illegal whaling fleet. The base commander from Macquarie Island had been notified by the Australian Antarctic Division to expect the potential arrival of the Shonan Maru No. 2. This clearly shows that the Australian Government was serious about monitoring the situation.”
At 0730 AEDT, the base commander called back as they saw a vessel on their radar and wanted to confirm its identity. Captain Peter Hammarstedt confirmed that the ship was indeed the Bob Barker and not the Shonan Maru No. 2.
After learning about the harassment from the armed Japanese Government ship in the past few days, the base commander was concerned for the well-being and safety of the Sea Shepherd crew and wished them a safe onward journey.
“Macquarie Island is Tasmania and Australia has made it very clear to the Government of Japan that whaling vessels are not permitted to enter Australia’s territorial sea limit due to their refusal to abide by an Australian Federal Court Order barring them from killing whales”, said Captain Hammarstedt. “I am elated at the way that Canberra has responded to this situation off Macquarie Island, much the same as if a whaling vessel was aggressively motoring up the River Derwent to Hobart, or sitting provokingly outside of Sydney Harbour.”
Captain Hammarstedt went on to say, “As we flew the Australian flag, my crew and I were very happy to be sailing past the beautiful World Heritage listed area of Macquarie Island. Its great to know we can count on the support of the people of Australia and today the Australian Government, who are against the illegal slaughter of whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.”
Operation Zero Tolerance Co-Campaign Leader Bob Brown will hold a Press Conference in Brisbane, outside of Parliament House at 1030 AEST, to provide an update on the overnight saga. Brown stated, ” The Australian Government has acted swiftly to prevent a repeat of last year’s incursion into Macquarie Island waters. However, the Shonan Maru No. 2 has disregarded Australia’s strong objection to its trespass into our Exclusive Economic Zone.”
Sea Shepherd Australia Director and Co-Campaign Leader Jeff Hansen has commended the Australian Government’s actions, saying, “Sea Shepherd Australia applauds the Federal Environment Minister, the Honourable Tony Burke, on his quick response to this matter. However we must not forget that these whale poachers still completely disregarded the 2008 Australian Federal Court Order by sailing deep into the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone. The Japanese whaling fleet has no respect for International law, banning the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and no respect for the Australian Federal Court, a court which they are in contempt of by killing whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.”
With the Bob Barker now free from its tail, Captain Peter Hammarstedt and the crew of the Bob Barker can resume their hunt for the factory whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru.
About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd Australia uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd Australia works to ensure their survival for future generations. Visit www.seashepherd.org.au for more information.