Showing posts with label saving whales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saving whales. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whale Wars: Did the Japanese whaling fleet surrender?

The Nisshin Maru, the factory ship of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, has made a U-turn and is apparently headed home.

Does this mean an end to the Whale Wars?

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the anti-whaling group that has been harassing the fleet for seven years in an effort to prevent the killing of whales under the guise of research, said this about the interesting development Wednesday in the Whale Wars:
The turnabout could mean one of two things. First, they may be on a great circle route back to Japan, or second, they may be returning to the whaling grounds in the Ross Sea where the three Japanese harpoon vessels may be waiting to continue their illegal slaughter.
Reports from Japan that the Japanese Fisheries Agency has suspended the hunt have not specified how long this suspension will last. It could be permanent, for the season, for two weeks, or only a few days. The three Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira will remain in the Southern Ocean until the whaling vessels depart.
“The Japanese Fisheries Agency had no choice but to suspend whaling operations. Sea Shepherd had already enforced a suspension of operations by blocking all whaling operations since February 9th and blocking 75% of all whaling operations for the month of January,” said Captain Paul Watson “We will not allow the Japanese whalers to kill another whale down here in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
For those who follow the exploits of Sea Shepherd by watching "Whale Wars," the popular weekly reality TV series on Animal Planet, this might be the biggest question:

Did Sea Shepherd collect enough video footage to last a full season of "Whale Wars"? The fourth season is scheduled to kick off in June.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'Whale Wars': Godzilla joins the effort to save whales

Godzilla has terrorized Japanese moviegoers for decades. Now a new Godzilla is about to terrorize the Japanese whaling fleet.

Gojira, Godzilla in English and shown above in boat-form, is the newest addition to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s anti-whaling fleet.

Today, it is set to join the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin, the other two Sea Shepherd vessels, in Hobart, Australia. They will set sail for the Southern Ocean on Thursday, embarking on their annual campaign to prevent the killing of whales.

You're probably familiar with Sea Shepherd. The anti-whaling group has become famous because of “Whale Wars,” a weekly reality television series that debuted on Animal Planet on Nov. 7, 2008.

[Related: WikiLeaks drop a bombshell]

The show details the harassing encounters the Sea Shepherd fleet has with the Japanese whalers each year in the Southern Ocean, all in the name of saving whales.

Wrote GrindTV Outdoors about the newest Sea Shepherd vessel: “Gojira, which can easily out-run the larger Japanese vessels, will be used to help locate the factory ship, which processes whales killed by crews aboard harpoon boats; to try to thwart harpooning; and to prevent delivery of harpooned whales to the factory ship.”

Very sleek and intimidating; and note the Godzilla decal near the bow.

“I think we did bloody well this year, and 528 whales were saved,” Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said about last season on the “Whale Wars” site. “We won’t stop until whaling ends.”

The Sea Shepherd has been trying to stop the killing for six years, going on the offensive during the season which runs from December through February or March.

“I can guarantee we’re going to cut their quota in half, but we’re aiming for 100 percent this year,” Watson said via the Australian Associated Press.

“We’re prepared for their aggression, we’re stronger and better prepared and better equipped than ever... Every year we go down stronger and they go down weaker, so we’re slowly beating them down.

“I think we’re winning this. Most telling of all is that for the first time ever the Japanese fleet hasn’t left. They usually leave between the 9th and 19th of November.

“Whether they’re coming down at all, we don’t even know yet.”

According to what Greenpeace Japan officials told the Japan Times, the fleet is late in leaving because it hasn’t secured a refueling vessel for the trip.

No doubt it will, and the intense pressure will begin.

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Even on land the pressure is intensifying on the whaling fleet to cut down on whaling. The Japan Times reports that the International Whaling Commission submitted a proposal in April for the fleet to reduce its quota from 800 to 200 over the next 10 years.

And in May, Australia launched legal action at the International Court of Justice in the Hague to stop Japan’s research whaling in the Antarctic.

As it is, the fleet’s annual take has continued to decline because of the Sea Shepherd's efforts, the methods and madness of which make great reality TV.

The fourth season of “Whale Wars” will begin airing in early June 2011. This season’s motto: Operation No Compromise.

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