Hunting the Hunters at the Bottom of the World

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

The Ross Sea
From 0930 Hours to 2130 Hours.
From: 67 Degrees 21 Minutes South and 164 Degrees 4 Minutes West
To: 67 Degrees 29 Minutes South and 170 Degrees 6 Minutes West

For twelve hours our ship the Steve Irwin has been on the tail of the Cetacean Death Star, the Japanese whale killing factory ship the Nisshin Maru.

Every hour has brought us closer to this monstrous killing machine, this industrialized floating whale abattoir.

Flanking us is the Yushin Maru #1 on our starboard side and the Yushin Maru #3 on our port side. Both ships are a mile on either side of us.

Earlier they came in close trying to goad us into chasing them to throw us off the tail of the Nisshin Maru. We did not take the bait, instead keeping our focus on catching the mother ship.

And every hour we have closed the gap by a half a mile. By early tomorrow morning we will be alongside them and we will keep chasing them onward. In the last twelve hours we have chased them 150 miles to the west. By 930 tomorrow morning it will be 300 miles.

Where we are heading, we have no idea. The Japanese whalers run and we follow and that is fine with us because as long as they are running, they are not killing whales.

It is a strange sight. Four large ships running full speed across the top of the Ross Sea in one of the most remote and hostile areas of the planet.

All day we have had whales surface beside us and each time we could see the harpoons on the two harpooners running along side us. Harpoons that the gunners dare not fire with us here. They know what we will do if they attempt to kill a whale.

Our best deterrent is our history and with eight whaling ships sunk and numerous others rammed, our reputation as whale defenders gives us a measure of respect in the eyes of these killers. They hunt and kill whales and we hunt and kill whaling ships.

These hunters today became the hunted and like all prey, they run.

We don't want to sink them, we just want to keep their harpoon guns silent and we want to keep them running.