Kamikaze Winds Savage Japanese Whaling Fleet

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Nisshin Maru as witnessed by Sea Shepherd on
Christmas Day, 2005 in stormy seas

It appears that the spirit of the Divine Wind has turned on the Japanese whaling fleet. With only eight days left in the whaling season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's tracking device, which was planted last month on board the Yusshin Maru No. 2, puts the Japanese fleet right smack in the middle of a savage storm off Porpoise Bay near the coast of Antarctica.

"What we could not finish due to lack of fuel is being taken care of by mother nature. There is no way that the whalers are going to kill whales in the seas and winds the fleet is in at the present time," said Steve Irwin1st Officer Peter Brown.

"The winds (kaze) of the Gods (Kami) have ended any hope of the whalers getting even half of their kill quota," said Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd. "I love storms. I love to ride them out and I love the humbling power of the sea, but most of all I love it when storms scatter the ambitions of poachers like this storm is doing now. The whaling season is for all intents and purposes finished."

Sea Shepherd's ship, the Steve Irwin, will be arriving in Melbourne on Saturday, March 15. Preparations will begin immediately to organize a return to the Southern Ocean in December 2008 to once again pursue and intervene against the continuing illegal operations of the Japanese whaling fleet if necessary.

As the Steve Irwin moves northward in the relatively calm waters a few hundred miles south of Tasmania, the crew will drink a toast to the Divine Winds with appreciation on behalf of the whales the Kamikaze will save this week.

"I think it's appropriate," said Captain Watson. "The Kamikaze came to the rescue of the Samurai to save them from the Mongol hordes under Kublai Khan. To the whales, Sea Shepherd crew members are modern day Samurai. Samurai means to serve, and we serve the whales. Our duty is clear, and the average Japanese citizen will understand our resolve even if they disagree with our objectives."