There is the possibility that the Yushin Maru No. 1 could be hunting whales, but at the fast rate the Nisshin Maru has been moving, some 1,400 miles over the last eight days, there appears to be insufficient time to track, harpoon, and transfer whales. At worst, having two of the three killer boats neutralized has handicapped the whaling fleet, while the third is on the run and hardly in a position to deliver its daily quota for the factory vessel.
This also means that every day these four ships are burning large amounts of fuel and having very little to show for it, but at some point, the Nisshin Maru and her little gang of harpoon hooligans will need to refuel. Sea Shepherd intends to interfere with any attempts at refueling. It is illegal to refuel large ships below 60 degrees south, and doing so would be a violation of the Antarctic Treaty.
The whaling fleet now has a big problem. If they take their harpoon boats off the tail of the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin, both Sea Shepherd ships will be free to hunt down the Nisshin Maru without a tail constantly forwarding our position. If they don’t take off their tailing ships, they are without two killing boats for the duration of the season which will cost them a great deal of money.
Evidence of the whaling fleet’s poor financial condition is that they have been forced to deploy harpooners as tailing vessels whereas in the past, they employed a specific security ship such as the Shonan Maru No. 2 or the Fukuyoshi No. 68 leaving the harpooners free to slaughter whales. The whaling fleet loses either way; by tailing us they lose, and by removing their tails they lose.
Meanwhile, the Gojira is free of a tail and therefore able to search out the Nisshin Maru using radar and eye in the sky weather balloons.
This is the ninth day since Sea Shepherd’s ships first encountered the Japanese whaling fleet. The Japanese whalers are quickly running out of time to secure their kill quota. I think we can confidently say that this will be a financially disastrous year for the whalers, and a humiliating year for the Japanese government for failing to remove Sea Shepherd as the thorn in the side of their despicable whaling industry.