Melbourne, Australia March 3rd, 2013 – The Japanese whaling fleet is now acting like a serial killer in a bad horror movie – when the heroes turn their back and the credits are about to roll, the killer rises up again, this time with harpoon in hand to kill another defenseless whale.
The retreating Japanese fleet has turned around and is heading South again.
When the Sea Shepherd ships broke away from the northbound whaling fleet, they did so in order to conserve fuel for the long trip back to Melbourne. But before parting ways, Sea Shepherd crew members placed a tracking device on the Sun Laurel to monitor its progress northward.
The Sun Laurel has now turned around and is heading south again and this can only indicate that the Nisshin Maru has also turned and is heading south. Although there are very few days left in the whaling season, there is still the possibility that the Nisshin Maru can refuel and return for a few days of whaling; although they will not be able to kill many whales, the death of even a few is of grave concern to Sea Shepherd Australia.
Therefore the Sam Simon will transfer fuel to the Steve Irwin and the Sam Simon will head to Fremantle instead of Melbourne to refuel.
The Bob Barker was intending to transfer fuel to the Steve Irwin but they will now retain that fuel to resume the pursuit of the whaling fleet.
After refuelling from the Sam Simon tomorrow, the Steve Irwin will follow the Bob Barker back to the Southern Ocean to intercept the whaling fleet.
The Bob Barker has changed course and is once again in pursuit of the whaling fleet.
Operation Zero Tolerance has been resurrected. It looks like another ten days of high seas pursuits in an ocean becoming colder and more hostile each day.
“It appears that the Japanese whalers have been ordered south to kill a few token whales so as to not be totally humiliated this season,” said Bob Barker Captain Peter Hammarstedt, “so it is once more back into the breach. We know where the Sun Laurel is and we intend to intercept them once again.”
The Steve Irwin will take fuel from the Sam Simon at Heard Island before returning to the Southern Ocean to assist the Bob Barker.
“It is still three days back to the whaling grounds with no more than a week left to kill whales, and the weather is getting progressively worse,” said Captain Siddharth Chakravarty of the Steve Irwin.
“It is not economically practical for the whalers to return at this late date,” said Sea Shepherd Australia Director Jeff Hansen. “But this is no longer about whaling. It is about the Japanese Government not appearing weak. They have been humiliated by Sea Shepherd. They are returning to the Southern Ocean so they can claim they were not chased out by Sea Shepherd, even though it is very clear they were. It looks like we will have to chase them out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary once more”
“This is the bully swinging a late punch. The pity is that no Australian Government referee is there to disqualify them,” said Sea Shepherd Australia Chair, Bob Brown.
The whales are making their way to their calving grounds in the north as the plankton blooms are dispersing. Adding to this, the weather is deteriorating and the seas are becoming rougher, which means conditions are not conducive to whaling.
The Bob Barker is not far from the returning whaling fleet.
About Sea Shepherd Australia
Sea Shepherd Australia is a non-profit conservation organisation 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.