Japanese Whalers Continue to Flee Eastward

At noon on January 24th, the Steve Irwin reached the point where the Japanese whaling fleet was only 24 hours before only to find they had fled 300 miles to the East.

"You don't kill whales traveling at that speed," said Steve Irwin's 1st Officer Peter Brown. "They're still running and we're still pursuing."

The Steve Irwin has traveled over 1,200 miles since January 18, the day the Japanese returned the two Sea Shepherd crew they held hostage.

"It's been one hell of a chase," said Brown. "And the great thing about it is that there has not been a whale killed down here for over two weeks. If the whalers think they are going to run us out of fuel, they still have some time to go. If they stop to whale we'll catch them and if they keep on running fast, they won't be killing any whales."

Greenpeace claims that they are keeping the whaling fleet on the run are bogus. The Japanese whalers have never run from Greenpeace before and they are not running from them now. The whalers are looking over their shoulder and over the horizon. The Japanese spy ship Fukuyoshi Maru No. 68 presently tailing the Steve Irwin is relaying the position of the Sea Shepherd vessel to the whaling fleet and they know that Sea Shepherd will be on them if they stop to whale.

Responding to Japanese statements about pressuring Australia to arrest Benjamin Potts and Giles Lane, Captain Paul Watson said, "Ben and Giles were following my orders to board the Yushin Maru No 2. If they charge them they will need to charge me also and all three of us would welcome the ridiculous charge of piracy over our efforts to save whales. Let's put this entire issue on trial in the courts and in the forum of public opinion. It will be fun and it will further serve to expose the blatant and flagrant violations of international and Australian law by the whale poachers from Japan."

The Steve Irwin continues its pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet along the coast of Antarctica. The fleet is presently 1800 miles south of the coast of the middle of the great Australian bite.