At 2:50pm AEDT on January 10th, Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the Sea Shepherd Ship The Bob Barker reported that his ship had just crossed into Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 200 miles off Macquarie Island, but the pursuing Japanese whale harpoon ship, Yushin Maru No. 3, has stopped one mile outside the zone.
Sea Shepherd Australia chair Bob Brown said that congratulations are due to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, who had been in touch with the Japanese authorities over the impending invasion of the Australian Whale Sanctuary, which includes the EEZ, by the harpoon ship.
“Once again Sea Shepherd has seen the Japanese whaling fleet's tactics thwarted. But we are mindful that the fleet is publicly committed to killing another 931 Minke Whales as well as 50 Fin Whales and 50 Humpbacks,” Dr. Brown said.
Managing Director, Jeff Hansen, phoned the Hon. Minister Greg Hunt and passed on our Captains’ and crews’ sincere thanks and appreciation for his efforts. The hunt for the Japanese whaling fleet’s butchering ship, the Nisshin Maru can now resume.
The two remaining Sea Shepherd ships, The Steve Irwin and The Sam Simon, are currently patrolling the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in pursuit of the Nisshin Maru, which has been running for five days with little likelihood of being able to stop to kill whales.
Captain Peter Hammarstedt expressed his gratitude, saying, “Today the Australian government enacted the will of their people by forbidding entrance of these despicable poachers into the Australian Whale Sanctuary. Free of any tailing ships of the Japanese whaling fleet, The Bob Barker is now poised to hone in on our primary target, the slipway of the Nisshin Maru.”