Sea Shepherd Counts Coup With New Vessel

B. McPherson
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Outwits, Outsmarts

Bart Simpson will be sailing in spirit with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society this season. His creator, Sam Simon, has donated money to purchase a new ship, and not just any ship. It’s formerly owned by the Japanese government.

The ice-strengthened ship was built for the Japanese Meterological Agency in 1993 and retired in 2010. It had done real work in the north Pacific in support of the whale hunts there. The ship was purchased through agents that did not disclose the names of the ultimate buyers.

The Japanese whaling ships have left Japan and are expected in the Southern Ocean later this month. The Sea Shepherd crews will be trying to dog the wake of the factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, to prevent it from receiving any dead whales.

This year’s anti-whaling campaign is called Operation Zero Tolerance and the crews are aiming at a zero kill this year. With the psychological clout of a former assistant ship now opposing them, the Sea Shepherd people are hoping to add to the whalers’ misery. They now have four ships to deploy in the campaign.

This year the whaling fleet slipped out of harbour unseen and unapplauded in contrast to previous years. It may be that the tide is turning in Japan. It may have something to do with the rumours that the government took $30 million away from the Fukushima relief fund and spent it on whale meat subsidies.

“We do what we do so the whales may live. We do what we do for the children of the future, so that they may live in a world with whales, for when the whales are no more, the sea will die and when the sea is no more – we, all of us, will die!” Paul Watson

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