While not everyone agrees with their tactics, the actions of Sea Shepherd this whaling season caused the Japanese fleet to fall well short of their killing quotas.
Japan’s Fisheries Agency blamed hunt disruptions from Sea Shepherd and inclement weather for resulting in only 679 minke being killed — well below a planned total haul of between 765 and 935 of the giant mammals. While that number killed is depressing, consider this: Japan caught just one fin whale compared with a target of 50. In total, 16 days of hunting were lost.
With the Japanese fleet now returning home, crew members are being questioned over clashes with Sea Shepherd. We’ve all seen the dramatic video footage of both ships colliding — and Paul Watson ended things early as a result of escalataing violence. The question remains: What will the Japanese fleet bring to the table next year? Will they have more high-tech audio weapons? A security detail? Will this year’s events cause Sea Shepherd to be taken out of the equation next year?
Stay tuned — Paul Watson and his crew have promised to be back — and with an even faster boat.