If their numbers hold, the Sea Shepherd have dealt the Japanese whaling fleet a heavy financial blow.
With the industry already dependent on the Japanese government for tax breaks and cash, Paul Watson’s goal of defeating whaling with diminishing profits appears one step closer.
In a release, the organization announced that Operation Waltzing Matilda was their most successful campaign ever.
“For three straight weeks from February 5th until February 26th we prevented the entire Japanese whaling fleet from killing a single whale. The month before, we had shut the whalers down for twelve days giving us thirty-three solid whaling-free days, which is one-third of their whaling season. In addition, our actions forced the harpoon vessels Shonan Maru 2 and the Yushin Maru 3 to break off from whaling activities to serve as security vessels to oppose Sea Shepherd interventions, and this prevented these two vessels from killing whales for almost the entire season.”
The SS estimate that such tactics and delays cost the Japanese whaling fleet roughly $70 million. “The Japanese are becoming clearly more frustrated and aggressive because they are losing a lot of money and this year they took that frustration out by deliberately turning in and ramming the Ady Gil and taking out a $2 million dollar ship,” said Watson.
If not for the ramming of the Gil, the organization says their latest boat, the MV Bob Barker, might have been able to stick with the fleet and prevent whaling for the entire month of January.
Watson says that details on just how heavy the blow was will be revealed when the Japanese release their official takes for the year.