A Sea Shepherd vessel exchanges water cannon fire with a Japanese whaling ship
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has declared victory for the whales of the Southern Ocean. Once again, Japan’s whaling fleet has left the Antarctic after collecting just one third of its planned catch for the year.
According to Japan’s Fisheries Agency: “Factors including weather conditions and sabotage acts by activists” were the cause of the small catch.
Sea Shepherd’s “sabotage” activities included throwing stink bombs at the ships and trying to tangle their propellers in ropes.
The Australian government welcomed Japan’s decision to recall its fleet, saying it condemns all commercial whaling, “including Japan’s so called ‘scientific’ whaling program.”
Sea Shepherd’s captain Paul Watson called it all a “very successful campaign.There are hundreds of whales swimming free in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary that would now be dead if we had not been down there for the last three months. That makes us very happy indeed.”
He said that Sea Shepherd vessels had chased the Japanese ships for three months and 17,000 miles. “They really didn’t have much time to catch whales in all that time.”
He added that the Japanese were more aggressive than in previous years, and that the group had had 12 confrontations with them.
“They used water cannons, and they threw concussion grenades at us, and bamboo spears and grappling hooks. And we hit them back with stink bombs and smoke bombs.”