by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Sea Shepherd


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.

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 →
  • steph

    THANK YOU SEA SHEPHERDS!!!! You guys are the best <3

  • Mick

    According to a Japanese news report, Peter Bafun will be arrested by the JCG when the SM2 reaches port around March 12. He will be charged with illegaly boarding the SM2. The JCG will also launch an investigation and there may be additional charges brought against him.

    • whiplash

      If Japan prosecutes Pete Bethune, he will become the political prisoner of a tyrannical government that has even violated the basic human rights of its own citizens (remember the Tokyo Two?) in order to support the whaling industry. Not to mention the fact that the captain of the ship that Pete boarded, Shonan Maru 2, is the same man who rammed and destroyed his vessel, Ady Gil, nearly killing Bethune and 5 members of his crew. If anything, the captain and crew of the Shonan Maru 2 should be apprehended and charged by New Zealand authorities for attempted murder.

      • Mick

        A “political prisoner”??? Not at all. Peter Bafun is simply a common criminal and I expect he will be treated as such. I believe you are refering to, what should be, the Aomori Two. Their “alleged crimes” happened in Aomori and their trial is being held there, as well. They are just common criminals, too.

  • ddpalmer

    The Australian Federal Police boarded the Steve Irwin when it docked in Hobart and served an Australian warrant claiming violations of Australian laws by the SSCS. Don’t you just hate when that happens.

    • From MN, with hope…

      Its happened multiple times before, and nothing has happened. Nothing to worry about. Just something to please the whalers.

  • ddpalmer

    ‘”The search warrant invokes a lot of allegations of infringements of laws obscure and otherwise under Australian law,” Greens senator Bob Brown said after welcoming the crews of the two anti-whaling vessels.’

    Yes they have searched the SSCS ship before but according to Australian Senator Bob Brown this time they had warrants alleging violation of Australian laws.

    Last season was to look for evidence at the request of Japan. So alleging violations of Australian laws is brand new.

  • yahoo face

    They ended the campaign because of a faulty fuel line????? Any seaman worth their salt would have enough spares on board so this would be a minor annoyance at best. Shut down the boat for an hour or two and replace the faulty part. Looks to me like they had enough footage for the animal planet people and decided that publicity trumps saving whales. What a joke this outfit has turned out to be. Watson should be ashamed of himself for trying to mislead the people who follow him.

    • ddpalmer

      Didn’t Paul Watson say that completely losing a $2 million (or is it $3 million) vessels is less important than saving one whale?

      Then why isn’t it worth the risk of damage to the Bob Barker to save many whales? I am sure by leaving with weeks left in the season the Sea Shepherds let the Japanese take over 100 more whales.

      The Ady Gil is worth less than 1 whale, but the Bob Barker is worth more than 100 whales. Am I missing something?

  • Crazy Ivan

    The Truth About Butyric Acid

    We are submitting this short editorial to clear up some misconceptions regarding exactly what Butyric Acid is. Make no mistake about it, it IS an acid and it DOES harm human beings. Huge concerns about what happens if it’s dispersed into the sea near living sea creatures have been raised also. It stands to reason that pouring acid into the sea can’t be good. (1.)

    For years now Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherds have fed the media with mis-information, the worst case of this being the association between butyric acid and butter. Yes, rancid butter does contain traces of butyric acid… the key here being trace amounts. In larger concentrations the acid becomes harmful and if splashed into an eye can blind a human… or animal. (2.) Although we can’t prove what strength acid the Sea Shepherds are throwing at the Japanese whalers and into the sea the Sea Shepherds themselves have indicated they purchase ‘Industrial Grade’ butyric acid. (3.)

    This is just one example of how the Sea Shepherds, and Paul Watson in particular, use the media to twist the facts to their own satisfaction.
    A free, public, global forum dedicated to ending Eco-Terrorism on our good earth.

    – 1: CDC.GOV’s page on Butyric Acid: (Note the ‘Environmental Data’ that states “The substance is harmful to aquatic organisms.”)
    – 2: MSDS sheets from two countries: -and-
    – 3: Forums at where discussions about and images of actual butyric incidents involving the Sea Shepherds can be found. (Registration required.),250.0.html -and-,231.0.html