Whale Killers and Whale Defenders on a Collision Course

Nine ships are now heading towards the remote coast of Antarctica. Six of these ships are intent upon a deadly mission to slaughter hundreds of protected Antarctic piked whales and 10 endangered fin whales. Three ships are on a mission to prevent the cruel and illegal whale kill.

The six ships of the Japanese whaling fleet departed from Japan on November 8 and are now reaching the waters near Antarctica. Two ships from the Greenpeace Foundation departed from Cape Town, South Africa, on November 20 (the Greenpeace ships Esperanza and the Arctic Sunrise are heading eastward along the coast of Antarctica). The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society flagship Farley Mowat departs from Melbourne, Australia, on December 9 to head westward towards the Greenpeace ships.

The Japanese fleet is expected to be operating in the area between the two Greenpeace ships and Sea Shepherd's ship.

With the Japanese fleet sandwiched between the Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships, the killing fleet should be found sometime in December. Both the Greenpeace ships and the Sea Shepherd ship are equipped with helicopters.

"It makes sense for us to work in cooperation with Greenpeace," said Captain Paul Watson onboard the Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat. "We have the same objective in common and that is to stop the illegal killing of whales by the Japanese ships."

Captain Paul Watson, founder and president of the international Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was also one of the original co-founders of the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972.

"We have had our differences in the past," said Captain Watson. "But strength lies in diversity and this diversity is needed to stop the Japanese whalers. We have a common foe and that enemy is the ruthless crews of the Japanese vessels engaged in the illegal slaughter of the whales. Greenpeace can depend on our cooperation and assistance with this mission."