Apparently one of the primary reasons for them not departing is that their supply ship the Hiyo Maru No.2 (formally the Oriental Bluebird), has been sold by its owner the Daito Trading Company to China to be scrapped. Although this happened in August, the Institute for Cetacean Research has been unable to charter a replacement. The reason is that they are finding it difficult to find a ship owner willing to be associated with their brutal and illegal whaling operation in the Southern Ocean—and willing to be targeted by the Sea Shepherd fleet.
“I think the Japanese P.R. strategy of labeling Sea Shepherd as a ‘violent eco-terrorist’ organization has backfired,” said Captain Paul Watson, “They have scared the companies they do business with and they are frightening their own crews. They are now paying higher insurance premiums and making less money. We have taken their profits from them for five years. Now we need to take this despicable enterprise away from them and make sure they stay out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
The three Sea Shepherd Ships, Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira are ready to head to the Southern Ocean – the only thing missing down there are the whalers!
Is this the beginning of the end for illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean?
We can only hope so.