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 user 2005-12-24 at 10:25:00 am Views: 44
  • #13438

    Southern Ocean, International – Our two ships, the Esperanza and the Arctic Sunrise, today confronted the Fisheries Agency of Japan whaling fleet and called on it to “Leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary immediately.” In inflatables carrying banners which read “defend the whales” and “stop the whaling,” crew from the two ships declared their intention to stop the hunt
    While our ships were relaying their message, two ‘catcher ships’ arrived on the scene with dead minke whales hung from their hulls, ready to be transferred to the fleet’s factory ship, the Nisshin Maru.
    However, the Esperanza was blocking access to the Nisshin Maru’s stern ramp and one ‘catcher’ tried to push the Esperanza out of the way twice. The Esperanza pulled back for the crew’s safety and no casualties are reported.

    Update, December 24: After 40 hours on the run, the Japanese fleet has recognised they’re not going to shake us, and have resumed whaling, killing 5 minkes.  We’ve been unable to launch inflatables due to rough seas, and are awaiting a break in the weather.

    Update, December 23:They’re on the run!  The fleet decided they’d had enough after we held them to only 8 whale kills yesterday, and did what they’ve always done: sailed off at speed to get away from us.  But we had a surprise for them.  The newest addition to our fleet, the Esperanza, is the first ship we’ve owned that can match their power. The ship is doing us proud and staying with them.  The whalers have spent the last 24 hours running from Greenpeace rather than hunting whales.

    Update, December 22: Inflatables boats from the Esperanza and the Arctic Sunrise spent 9 hours in the freezing Antarctic whalers today saving whales.
    Activists continually ran in front ot the explosive harpoon canon on board the “catcher ships.”  They  successfully blocked clear shots with their presence, and by the use of high-powered water canons to spray a thick fan of water,  obscuring the line of sight of the harpoons.  Many whales were thus given a chance to escape.
    One chase lasted for nearly two and half hours until eventually the whaler, the Yushin Maru, managed get a clear shot and despatched a deadly grenade-tipped harpoon into a minke whale.
    8 minke whales were killed as part of the fleet’s plan to take some 935 minke whales and 10 endangered fin whales for their so-called scientific research programme.
    “This whale hunt is unnecessary, unjustified, and unwanted,” said Expedition leader Shane Rattenbury. In a radio call to the whaling vessels, from the bridge of the Arctic Sunrise, Yuko Hirono, of Greenpeace Japan called upon the whalers to stop killing whales “and leave the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”