by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.


When South Park lampooned the Sea Shepherd back in October, they included a hilarious bit where the crew of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch blocked the MV Steve Irwin from blocking the Japanese whaling fleet.

I think Japan was paying close attention to this strategy.

The fisheries ministry revealed yesterday that Japan was sending two vessels to “monitor” the Sea Shepherd fleet. The country has been making a hard case against the anti-whaling organization — appealing directly to Australian, New Zealand, and Dutch governments (under whose flag the MV Steve Irwin is registered) to end what they deem to be hostile confrontations.

In light of these new ships being sent to keep an eye on things, Sea Shepherd media rep Amy Baird says the move shows the Japanese government is getting frustrated.

“We just take that as evidence that we’re really causing an impact and are being successful down there if they’re willing to take that extra step to stop us,” she told ABC News. “Clearly we are having an impact and costing them a lot of money and getting more and more frustrating for them.”

I’m not sure anyone would be surprised if these two monitoring vessels conveniently put themselves between the Sea Shepherd and the whaling fleet. In fact, if Japan does decide to take defensive measures with ships positioned to protect the fleet, the SS may find interrupting hunts to be a bit more challenging. It will be interesting to see what type of vessels are en route to challenge the Irwin and Ady Gil — especially when it comes to keeping up with the latter.

Stay tuned.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • WMC

    It looks like the adventure begins.

  • John Hiney

    Japan has pleaded with the governments of the Netherlands and Australia, who are enabling the SS terrorists, to take action to curtail their dangerous activities. They have refused. The Japanese now have every right to do what it takes to protect their citizen’s lives and property in the Antarctic. I hope they have another successful whale hunt this year, and that none of them are harmed by the SS.

    • Exploding Harpoon

      Johnny boy,
      I hope the Japs hit an ice berg and sink,or better yet plough into each others vessels.
      They claim cultural practises.Then they are hypocrites unless they use ‘traditional cultural’ hunting methods.What is traditional about an explosive device decimating the innards of family member of an intelligent warm blooded mammal family?
      If they send their own blocking ships it will amplify the tension and push the Aussie Govt into at last taking legal action against the filthy, lying “Japanese Science Mission”.
      My only gegret is that Ady Gil hasn’t got heat seeking missiles herself.Heck if they shot at Fuji-mon it could be claimed as a ‘scientific experiment’,and peace could prevail.

      • DMode

        (I hope the Japs hit an ice berg and sink,or better yet plough into each others vessels.)

        So making racist comments is going to make them listen right……

    • Bob

      Go live in japan then u sick person

  • Tornadoes28

    Good. The Sea Shepherd idiots are nothing more than eco-terrorists. Why have they not been arrested under international law is beyond me.

    • Pistol Pete

      Are you twits for real? You would actually think Japan can do what she pleases with an armed escort if necessary? LOL wow – what a bunch of ill-informed lot you are. ‘eco-terrorists’ ??? Names wont hurt them.

      The whaling fleet should be dispatched to the sea bed by torpedoes. end of story.

      I’m sure more whalers will die this year. Fires, man overboard etc.

    • Katherine Lopez

      the whalers are the bad guys!

  • timmy

    The Ady Gil will be all show and that’s it.
    It will be useless in amongst the icebergs.
    And what use is the speed going to be if there are 10 ton whales swimming around in the water? They better drive slowly or they’ll kill one, and themselves. Would make for good TV though I guess.

    The Japanese also have 3 harpoon boats. Ady Gil could only interrupt one at most. And the Japanese have already found ways to hunt despite the Steve Irwin.

    • Ed

      Actually, I’m envisioning the Ady Gil ‘cutting through’ a wave (as they keep touting), then getting jammed under a piece of ice. I doubt that the hull was bolstered enough for the icy environment down there, as the SSCS group doesn’t seem to think that the Steve Irwin’s hull needs to bolstered either, even after getting squeezed by ice last season. Steel flexes, carbon fiber cracks and shatters.

      Also interesting will be the ‘Sea-Doo from Hell’. Is this Sea-Doo tough enough to hit ice at full speed? Who gets to ride the Sea-Doo in water cold enough to kill you within 5 minutes? I suppose whoever pulls the short straw will get to ride the ‘Sea-Doo OF Hell’.

      My biggest question to the SSCS is why they pour all these resources into clashing with the Japanese, but we don’t even see a token resistance to Iceland’s or Norway’s whaling operation. These countries openly defy the IWC and its whaling moratorium, so why does the SSCS give them such a wide berth? Incidentally, Norway also has a larger whale quota than Japan this year….

      • Exploding Harpoon

        Because the Japs are killing whales in Australian sovereignty.

  • Ali

    Eco-terrorists … that’s hilarious. SS are doing the work that governments wish they could. The Japanese whaling fleet is a symbol of an antiquated industry that no longer has any place in modern society. If they were smart, they would drop this absurd facade of killing whales for “scientific reasons” and call a spade a spade then propose on how to continue whaling as a sustainable and humane fishery. The fact they continue to masquerade their whaling as being conducted for scientific reasons is asinine. It’s about the money, plain and simple. Until they drop the BS they’ll continue to give groups like SS even more power to win hearts and minds.

  • trijer

    Japan has a larger political affect than Norway and Iceland. If Japan can be presuaded to stop whaling, then perhaps Norway and Iceland will follow.

    So, politics and money aside, what is Japan going to do when there are no longer any whales to take?

    I have watched the Whale Wars a few times. They are pretty fanatical, but eco-terrorists, don’t think so. Eco-terroists burn homes and businesses, burn or destroy the forests, go into labs that experiment on animals and release them. Yeah, they are now free, but living there life in a cage, how will they survive? Will keep the coyote population busy. These people do not care who they kill.

    Believing so strongly in their quest, they take unbelievable risks. Gee, that is how the United States formed.

    By the way, Japan is one of the biggest importers of illegally attained animal parts. These animals that they want the paws, heads and gallbladders, etc.,are endangered and at risk of extinction. So, why are they not being arrested?

  • Katherine Lopez

    SS is supported my millions worldwide for all their efforts in protecting the whales. Japan cannot continue to rape our oceans and its’ inhabitants. There is worldwide attention growing each day to these crimes. Japan will fall. Earth First. Greed kills.

  • v-tach

    And another thing, its great to dump on Sea Shepherd isnt it? While you sit in front of your computer nice and comfortable. Good to see someone has the passion and determination to go down there and have a go. You dont see anyone else doing a damn thing while Japan rapes the oceans.

    The quicker SSCS dispatches these cretins to the seabed the better. If only they could…

  • v-fib

    “Japanese taxpayers money is being squandered on life-support for a whaling programme that produces virtually nothing of value,” said Jun Hoshikawa, executive director of Greenpeace Japan.

    “With well over 9,000 minke whales killed in 22 years and no useful data produced, Japan’s so-called ?research? in the Antarctic is an international embarrassment.”

  • Rationalthinker

    Whaling is pretty nasty business, but what the Japanese are doing isn’t illegal. What the Sea Shepherds are doing is vigilantism. The thing I can’t understand is why they would want to be filmed and appearing so inept and untrained. Whenever they are in a dicey situation, there is an appearance of confusion and lack of a chain of command. I’m worried that these silly kids are going to get killed playing around in the antarctic.