February 16th, 2011 by Gary Smith
The Japanese government announced yesterday that it has cut the whaling season short in the Southern Ocean due to the intervention of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Captain Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was kind enough to answer a few questions about the suspension as well as the current campaign in the Southern Ocean named Operation No Compromise.
1. The Japanese Fisheries Agency is saying that the whale hunt has been suspended. Do you trust them? Please clarify what they mean by suspended?
I don’t trust them so we are staying in the Southern Ocean with the whaling fleet until they leave. They have not said if the suspension is permanent, the rest of the season, a few weeks or a few days.
2. Since the announcement, what does the Southern Ocean look like? Have they retreated?
The Nisshin Maru #2 was heading full speed East at 14.5 knots. They are 2000 miles east of the hunting area and were entering Drake’s Passage around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. This morning they abruptly changed course and turned completely around to head due west back from where they came. The Bob Barker is following. The Steve Irwin and the Gogira are 2000 miles to the West in the Ross Sea where the three harpoon boats are waiting for the factory ship.
3. Can you give us an update on Operation No Compromise?
So far hugely successful. We have shut them down for 90 percent of their season. They have not killed many whales and they will not kill any more.
4. ONC is the seventh mission to the Southern Ocean. How has this expedition been compared to previous expeditions?
Every year we go down stronger and the whalers go down weaker. We are better equipped each time.
5. In addition to the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, you have added the Gojira to the fleet. Can you tell us about the Gojira and how you have been able to use it in the campaign?
The Gojira was an excellent scout vessel. It located the refueling ship and the Nisshin Maru. It’s faster than the harpoon vessels and it was able to help us lose the harpoon vessels tailing the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin.
6. How can the Thinking Vegan readers support SSCS?
People can contact us at our website www.seashepherd.org