Japanese Harpooner Feels the Heat in East Java

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society would like to thank Jakarta Animal Aid for organizing a demonstration in Surabaya to protest the presence of the pirate whaler Yushin Maru #2 in Surabaya harbour. The Japanese whaler arrived in Surabaya, East Java on January 4th after leaving the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary where it was engaged in illegal whaling activities. The Yushin Maru #2 was last seen on December 20th, 2008 heading north into dense ice packs.

The arrival of the Yushin Maru #2 in Surabaya is confirmation that the harpoon vessel has not been engaged in whaling since December 20th. The loss of one of the three Japanese harpoon vessels for a month and a half is expected to have an impact on the overall kill figures for the 2008/2009 season. The Yushin Maru #2 needs to be drydocked and repairs are expected to be completed by January 16th.

The distance from where the Steve Irwin encountered the Yushin Maru #2 on December 20th, 2008 and Surabaya, East Java is 2,995 miles. The whaling vessel arrived on January 5th. The voyage took 16 days. This meant the Yushin Maru #2 limped back and up the West coast of Australia to Indonesia at 7.5 knots. This indicates that their prop was badly damaged. The drydock facility in Surabaya confirms that it is prop damage caused by ice.

It took the ship 16 days to reach East Java and it will take at least 14 days to reunite with the whaling fleet. This means 30 days of cruising, using 5 or so tons of fuel each day. This is going to be very costly for the whaling fleet in terms of fuel used without economic return and days wasted in traveling and not killing whales. There is no doubt this will be a major factor in reducing the kill numbers and lowering whaling industry profits this season.

On Monday, January 12th activists from Indonesia gathered at Surabaya harbor to protest the slaughter of the whales and demand that the Japanese whale killing vessel be evicted from the harbor. The Indonesian media covered the event quite extensively.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will pay a reward of $10,000 to any person who can enforce international conservation law by non-violent means to prevent the Yushin Maru #2 from returning to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary to resume the illegal slaughter of the whales for the duration of this year's whaling season.  In January 2008, the Yushin Maru #2 held Australian Benjamin Potts and British citizen Giles Lane hostage onboard and issued demands to Sea Shepherd for their release. Captain Paul Watson replied that Sea Shepherd had no intention of negotiating with terrorists who had kidnapped our crew. The two were released after intervention by the Australian government.

For more information please contact

Femke 081314962608 / Pramudya Harzani 08 161410332 www.jakartaanimalaid.com