Japanese Whale Hunt Over for Season
Operation Divine Wind has successfully curtailed whale slaughter in the Southern Ocean. While they could not stop all the whale kills, they drastically reduced the number of deaths. The Japanese have announced that they killed 266 minke and one fin whale. There stated quota was 1000.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation society had dogged the whaling fleet during its incursion into the Antarctic Ocean seeking to kill whales for ‘research’. There is no commercial whaling allowed in the sanctuary, but the Japanese maintain they are conducting research and even paint “Research” on the sides of their vessels.
The Australian government along with many others doesn’t buy that story and has banned the harpooners from their territorial waters.
The whale wars continued until the last with the two harpoon vessels turning on the Bob Barker and steaming toward it trying to blind the bridge. The Sea Shepherd vessel retaliated with laser lights and distress flares. Since the beginning of the whale hunt in December the Sea Shepherd activists have used ropes to tangle propellers, stink bombs and harassing high speed open vessels and the Japanese have used high pressure water hoses, grappling hooks, percussion grenades and bamboo staves.
This year the conservation group added a drone to its arsenal of tools in the fight to keep the whalers from killing the giant sea mammals.
This was the eighth season that the Sea Shepherd group has defended the whales in the Southern Ocean. Paul Watson vows to return next December if the Japanese whalers come back.
“If the Japanese whalers return, Sea Shepherd will return. We are committed to the defense of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “No matter how long it takes, no matter how risky or expensive. The word “sanctuary” actually means something to us and that something is worth fighting for.”Sea Shepherd News
It is ironic that while the Japanese insist on continuing to slaughter marine mammals for the marketplace, the meat is toxic and eating it can poison those who indulge.