Sea Shepherd Ship Bob Barker Engages Japanese Whale Poaching Fleet
SEA SHEPHERD SHIP BOB BARKER
ENGAGES JAPANESE WHALE POACHING FLEET
– BLOCKS THE TRANSFER OF A DEAD WHALE TO THE NISSHIN MARU
Feb. 15, 2013 – MELBOURNE, Australia — After an 18-day 2,500 nautical mile chase the Japanese whale poaching fleet and Sea Shepherd Australia’s fleet are now fully engaged in a confrontation as the Japanese whalers begin their attempts to kill whales. The Sea Shepherd crew is working hard to block their illegal activities and uphold the 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling.
At 1753 AEDT the Yushin Maru No. 2 harpooned a large Minke whale at 66° 02’ South and 75° 44’ East, 57.5 miles from Australia’s Davis Research Base, inside Australia’s Antarctic Territory.
At 1820 AEDT, the harpoon ship attempted to transfer the dead whale to the butchering ship, the Nisshin Maru. The SSS Bob Barker radioed to inform the illegal whaling ships that they would not be allowed to transfer the poached whale and moved into position to block the transfer.
The Yushin Maru No. 2 has made nine unsuccessful attempts to transfer the dead whale coming as close as 10 metres to the Bob Barker. The Bob Barker has not moved. The Nisshin Maru and the Yushin Maru No. 2 have deployed long lines to foul the propellers of the Bob Barker. The Bob Barker responded to this safety hazard by launching small boats, and has successfully cut both of the Yushin Maru No. 2’s hazardous propeller fouling lines. The small boats have also cut one of the two propeller fouling lines from the Nisshin Maru. The second was line pulled back onboard the Nisshin Maru by the whale poachers. The Yushin Maru No. 2 is still unable to pass between the Bob Barker and the Nisshin Maru.
The Yushin Maru No. 2 is presently unable to complete the transfer.
If the transfer is completed the Yushin Maru No. 2 will kill another whale, so in order to uphold the sanctity and integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary the Bob Barker had to implement the only effective non-violent tactic available to oppose their illegal operations.
The SSS Steve Irwin continues to head towards the Nisshin Maru, Yushin Maru No. 2 and the Bob Barker.
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.