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 user 2005-12-24 at 10:27:00 am Views: 33
  • #13660

    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.
    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.”