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Death in the Ross Sea - Whale Killed by the Japanese Whalers

Update from Operation Musashi in the Ross Sea

February 6th, 2009
0600 Hours (Sydney Time)
1100 Hours (PST) (February 5th)

75 Degrees 43 Minutes South and 166 Degrees 20 Minutes West

The Japanese whalers managed to kill one whale this morning. To the Sea Shepherd crew this murder of this defenceless whale is as tragic as if they had lost one of their own.

The three harpoon boats had spread out over the night in an arc of fifteen miles. One of them returned to the Nisshin Maru with a whale in tow and quickly transferred it to the flensing deck. Within minutes, thick red blood could be seen pouring from the scupper holes on both sides of the ship into the sea.

The Sea Shepherd crew managed to deliver two bottles of rotten butter acid onto the decks to discourage the workers and to taint the whale meat. The whalers tossed chunks of bloody blubber back at the Sea Shepherd crew.

The Sea Shepherd crew were then forced to retreat by an assault from the Long Range Acoustic Weapon (LRAD) on the Nisshin Maru.

"We lost one today," said Captain Watson. "My crew is sad and they are angry. We did not see the kill but we saw the corpse and we saw the blood. It is difficult to cover the movements of three hunter killer boats and to stay on the tail of this floating abattoir but we are doing the best we can with the resources we have."

This is the sixth straight day that the Steve Irwin has been in pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet as it heads further and further into Southern waters.

Captain Paul Watson may have to deploy his small boats at longer range to cover the movements of the harpoon ships.

"It is dangerous to send these boats over ten miles from the ship, but we cannot continue to stop them unless we do," said Captain Watson.


Blood pours out of the scuppers of Japanese factory whaling ship the
Nisshin Maru
after a minke whale was newly caught in Antarctica's Ross Sea. 
Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd


Seabirds gather around chunks of whale meat discarded from
Japanese factory whaling ship the Nisshin Maru
Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd

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