Sea Shepherd Shuts Down Antarctic Whale Hunt

The Japanese hunt for endangered whales in the Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary has been shut down.

"All whaling activities have come to a halt," said Captain Paul Watson from onboard the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship Steve Irwin. No whales have been killed since January 11th. The Japanese whaling fleet has been denied a solid week of whaling activity. Our task now is to make that two weeks and then three weeks."

As long as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Greenpeace keep the Japanese whaling fleet on the run, there will be no whaling activity.

"I wish that Greenpeace would be more cooperative," said Captain Paul Watson. "However we will continue to feed them the coordinates for the rest of the fleet as they tail the factory ship Nisshin Maru. If we cannot work with Greenpeace directly we will work with them indirectly. The strength of any movement is in diversity."

January 17th found the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin chasing the whaling supply vessel Oriental Bluebird and three other whaling ships eastward along the line of Latitude of Sixty Degrees South near the Eighty Six Degree East line of longitude. This is approximately 2000 miles from Fremantle, Australia.

The Japanese whalers continue to hold Australian citizen Benjamin Potts 28 and Giles Lane 35 of Great Britain. The Japanese government has ordered their release but the whalers are defying that order and refusing to release their hostages until Sea Shepherd agrees to their demands. One of the demands is for Sea Shepherd to discontinue opposing whaling activities. Captain Watson responded by refusing to acknowledge their demands and demanding instead that the hostages be released without conditions.

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin will continue to pursue illegal Japanese whaling activities for as long as possible.

Read the New York Times article:  Japan Pauses Whale Hunt During Standoff