This year’s campaign against whalers in the Southern Ocean has come to a close.
Earlier in the week, the Steve Irwin left the whaling fleet to return to Australia and begin focusing on efforts to stymie illegal fishing of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean. The Bob Barker was left behind to continue harassing the fleet as long as their fuel would let them. Unfortunately, it appears that a malfunctioning fuel valve is cutting any further action and Paul Watson has ordered the ship to return to Hobart; lest their engines break down.
“I can’t risk leaving the Bob Barker down on the coast of Antarctica without the Steve Irwin as back-up to assist,” Watson said in a release. “Therefore, I felt the safest thing to do was to end the campaign and recall the ship to port. Both ships have done an awesome job this year. We’ve hurt the Japanese whaling fleet more this year than any year before.”
Watson’s reasons for success in particular come from the fact that the Sea Shepherd have prevented the Japanese from killing any whales over the last three weeks. “Only two more weeks remain in the whaling season,” he continued. “By the time the whalers regroup and deal with the weather, they will not be able to recoup their losses.”
While the drama in the Southern Ocean may be coming to a close, the Sea Shepherd are getting ready to turns up the heat on the Mediterranean’s bluefin tuna fisheries starting March 16th. With that campaign and Captain Pete Bethune — arrested on one of the Japanese whaling vessels and on his way to be charged in Japan — the Sea Shepherd are sure to remain in the media spotlight for many more months to come.
And then a little show called Whale Wars Season 3 hits in June.