The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a marine preservation activist group, says it’s ready once again to confront Japanese whaling vessels when the whale-hunting season begins this summer. The two sides actively clashed last season including one dangerous collision caught on video and with the Japanese fleet taking home their lowest catch due to the intervention of the group.
According to Peter Hammarstedt, the skipper of the Bob Barker, one of the ships that will be part of Sea Shepherd’s 10th Antarctic campaign, the Japanese whalers are already “desperate” because they are serving a dying industry. He claims that it is because of their efforts on the high seas that their whaling campaign has been unsuccessful the past years and that they are already bankrupt. They say that they have restricted Japan to just nine percent of its regular catch last season and that they were able to save 932 whales. “Last year was the most aggressive that the Japanese whale poachers have ever been towards us,” he says. He also considers the Japanese whalers, who continue hunting whales for what they claim are “scientific reasons”, as criminals so “we expect that we will treat them like the criminals that they are.”
One person who won’t be joining them this campaign is Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson. Although he is now living on dry land in the United States after months of trying to evade arrest by being on different vessels at sea, he will be concentrating on facing his legal battles. Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research, the organization that conducts the whaling operations in the Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, has been pursuing legal action against Sea Shepherd in the US, seeking an injunction against their anti-whaling activities that have affected their catch last season. He is confident that Sea Shepherd Australia will be more than capable of going against the Japanese fleet.
[ via SBS ]