Saturday, 21 December 2013

Whale Wars: battle is about to be joined again in Antarctic waters

 Kyodo News 7 December 2013:
Japan's research whaling
Japanese research whaling ship the Yushin Maru leaves Shimonoseki port in Yamaguchi Prefecture on Dec. 7, 2013. Two Japanese whaling ships and a surveillance ship left the port the same day to join the mother vessel Nisshin Maru and hunt up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and up to 50 fin whales through March. (Kyodo)

The Sydney Morning Herald 8 December 2013:
Asked on Monday if Mr Hunt would send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean, a spokesman from his office said the Coalition had stated a commitment to monitoring whaling and that commitment stood.
He said beyond that commitment, the Coalition would not pre-empt nor discuss operational activities.

Business Insider 9 December 2013:
Japan plans to hunt 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales until about March.
There is still a question over whether Australia will send a surveillance vessel, as indicated by the Coalition during the election campaign.
The Southern Ocean patrol vessel, the ACV Ocean Protector, was reported to be near Christmas Island, a long way from the Antarctic.
ABC radio reports that Sea Shepherd’s chairman, former Greens leader Bob Brown, says:
“The Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt promised in May this year in the run to the election that if the Japanese whaling ships went south there’d be Customs vessels from Australia going south. So we need to hear from the Prime Minister that that promise to the Australian people will be kept.”

Sea Shepherd Australia 18 December 2013:
This morning friends, family and supporters gathered at Sea Shepherd Australia’s Operations Base in Williamstown, and at Elizabeth Street Pier in Hobart to bid a fond farewell to crews of The Steve Irwin, The Sam Simon and The Bob Barker as the ships depart for Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Defence Campaign, Operation Relentless.
Last year, the Sea Shepherd Fleet was successful in shutting down the poaching operations of the Japanese whaling fleet, saving the lives of 932 whales. In the nine previous Antarctic Whale Defence Campaigns, Sea Shepherd has saved over 4,500 protected whales from illegal slaughter.

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