Operation Relentless has saved the lives of 784 whales from the Japanese whaling fleet, which was Whales. The whalers blamed this, one of their three worst years of whale kills on the efforts of Sea Shepherd to obstruct their poaching. Japanese fisheries agency official Koichi Mizutani said that the whalers “often had to run away from the group and they could not engage in their ‘research’ [whaling].”
”Despite the fact that the whaling season lasted longer than ever before; and even though the whale poachers were more aggressive than on years previous; the relentless efforts of the Sea Shepherd crew ensured that the whalers did not reach even a quarter of their bogus, self-allocated quota. My crew and I are today celebrating the lives of the 784 whales who are swimming free in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, right now, because of Sea Shepherd’s direct interventions”, said Captain Peter Hammarstedt.
“Japan’s controversial hunt has now been officially condemned by the ICJ. What Sea Shepherd has been saying for years has now been confirmed by the highest international court: Japan’s whale hunt in the Antarctica is a commercial hunt. 251 whales have been killed inside a whale sanctuary by a government funded poaching operation. Thanks to the tremendous dedication of our captains and crew, this number turned out to be one of the lowest since the illegal whaling operation JARPA II was started,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen.
Last week, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s whaling program was not scientific research, but in fact a commercial operation, and ordered Japan to end their Antarctic whaling program. Japan has said that they will respect the ICJ ruling, and will not send a whaling fleet to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for the 2014-2015 season.
"The ruling delivered by the International Court of Justice, brands the Japanese Whaling fleet as poachers. This poaching fleet's illegal harpooning operations were once again disrupted by Sea Shepherd on Operation Relentless and the results of the efforts are out today. In spite of the ruthless attacks which endangered the lives of the Sea Shepherd crew by the harpoon ships, instead of being intimidated, the captains and the crew rose to the challenge and continued to confront the poachers. Today I dedicate this victory to the whales that we could not save; to the whales that were poached from inside a Whale Sanctuary. Our commitment to the whales is stronger, bigger and firmer today than it was ever before and should the poachers return again, they will be met by the full force of Sea Shepherd,” said Captain Sid Chakravarty.