The Whale Killers Are On the Way

The Japanese "Death Star," the Nisshin Maru, the ship that intends to torture, kill and mutilate over 1,000 whales including 50 endangered humpbacks and 50 endangered fin whales has departed fromJapan and is heading southward towards the coast of Antarctica.

The departure ceremony was bizarre with family and friends waving and holding smiling whale balloons and signs as a brass band played "Popeye the Sailor Man" on the dock. It's all a big circus for those who inflict horrific pain and death upon some of the world's most beloved and gentle creatures. They not only kill without remorse, they flaunt their disrespect for the whales with images and music that trivialize these intelligent and socially complex beings.

The ship left the Japanese port of Shimonoseki on Sunday, November 18th. A Greenpeace ship waiting 12 miles off the coast to follow them south failed to notice the departure and lost the trail. The Greenpeace ship is presumably heading southward also. The Japanese fleet is scheduled to arrive off the coast of Antarctica in three weeks. Greenpeace has stated that they will not inform Sea Shepherd of Japanese coordinates despite the fact that Sea Shepherd provided Greenpeace with the coordinates for the Japanese fleet last season. 

"We welcome their involvement and the more ships opposing the whalers, the better," said Sea Shepherd International Director Jonny Vasic, "but our effectiveness would be greatly improved with Greenpeace cooperation."

Apparently Greenpeace disapproves of Sea Shepherd's tactics of intervention despite the fact that Sea Shepherd has never caused a single injury in 30 years of operation or been convicted of a felony crime. Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson was a co-founder of the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972 and of Greenpeace International in 1979. All attempts by Captain Watson to work in cooperation with Greenpeace over the years have been rejected by the Greenpeace leadership.

The Sea Shepherd crew will depart from Melbourne the first week of December. Sea Shepherd is approximately 7 days from the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

"We need to find and intercept these vicious killers as soon as possible. Every day of searching will cost the lives of whales," said Captain Paul Watson. "I hope that New Zealand and Australia will begin to cooperate and let us know where the fleet is instead of simply continuing to posture with words not backed up with action. I hope that Greenpeace will understand that cooperation can save whales. The Japanese whaling fleet is an international criminal operation targeting highly endangered whales in a whale Sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on whaling. They operate because they know that no other governments have the guts to oppose them."

The Sea Shepherd Antarctic crew is composed of international volunteers from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa and France.