by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

In another resounding victory for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Japan today announced that it was suspending its 2011 whaling operations in the Southern Ocean.

Hirosh Kawamura, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the hunt has been “temporarily suspended” since February 10th due to the actions of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. “We have experienced the dangerous attacks from them, it might take the life of crews,” he told CNN. “Considering the safety as the first priority, we decided to halt the whaling temporarily.”

For those that follow Sea Shepherd’s annual campaigns down under; especially through Animal Planet “Whale Wars” series, there’s a bit more at play here than just concerns over safety. In fact, it’s worth noting that the Sea Shepherd’s tactics have not changed in the seven years they’ve been harassing the Japanese whaling fleet. So it’s mighty interesting that safety would suddenly force an early return — an unprecedented decision, save a need for repair — in the time that Japan has been hunting whales.

As many have interpreted correctly, the action is more based around the SSCS increasingly stymieing efforts with new boats and support craft; coupled with a whaling industry in Japan under financial duress and a diminishing market for its meat.

”Every year we come down here, we come down strong and the whaling fleet comes down weaker,” said Captain Paul Watson in an interview with the Kyodo news service. “I’ve always felt the key to this is financial, economic, we had to cut their profits, to sink the Japanese fleet economically, and that what we’ve been able to do.”

Since Japan for now is only using the word “suspension”, Watson says the SSCS will shadow the fleet until they’re certain this year’s hunt is really over. He added that the group plans to grow their fleet with a fourth boat should the whalers decide to return.

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 →
  • AnimuX

    Outstanding work, Sea Shepherd! :-)

    • Imforthewhales

      Three cheers for Sea Shepherd…their tactics are working and working very, very well. I imagine that the pro whalers & ginza glenn wannabes won’t be too happy about this latest news …but honestly, does anybody really care?

      Go home whaling scum-bucket terrorists…go home and stay home.

  • mister jingles

    thank you sea shepherd and captain paul watson – i love you!!!!!!!! you made my day!!!!!!! hallelujahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • charley

    Good for you Greenpeace and your whale war show did it!!!! you should go after the Tuna poaching scumb in AU next.. Tuna wars I can see it now GOOD JOB

    • Imforthewhales

      Yeah, time to go go after those Japanese tuna scum buckets who have been over-catching tuna in the Southern ocean for the past thirty years.

    • Hart Noecker

      What a joke, Greenpeace sat home and did nothing.

  • Christy

    Ahhh this made my day tooooo!!! I cried when I heard it on the radio! Our whole family has watched “Whale Wars” and always wondered if they were really making a difference…well here is proof that they are! Yeah!! 945 Whales can breath a huge sigh…but Japan needs to STOP all together! Thanks to the Japanese citizens as well who are not eating the meat of Whales anymore…a new generation finally sees the cruelty!!

  • MKay

    Yay! The SSCS finished what the US couldn’t do after the war!!! They slapped the Japs but good! Long live the SSCS and the Planet Ocean Alliance!

    • Cam Currie

      Go POA!

  • Mick

    “In fact, it’s worth noting that the Sea Shepherd’s tactics have not changed in the seven years they’ve been harassing the Japanese whaling fleet.”

    That is clearly incorrect. SS’s methods have most definately changed the past few years. In a major escalation of their violent attacks, they have began using launchers to fire bottles of butryic acid. In addition, they have also began hurling flares, at close range, onto the ICR ships, too. They have also began using lasers in attempts to blind crewmembers on board the whaling ships. In fact, they have used these violent tactics to attack ships that weren’t even whaling.
    As for the ICR’s scientific research program. Even if JARPA II is suspended this year, there is still JARPN II in the North Pacific later in the year.
    As for whales in general. Whales will still continue to be killed regardless of the events in the SO. Norway, Iceland, Greenland, America and Russia are all killing whales and will continue to do so. As well as JARPN II, as I mentioned earlier.

    • Imforthewhales

      Suck eggs pro whalers. Losers!

      • herwin

        @ Imforthewhales.
        respond with arguments or don’t respond at all. With your childish insults towards pro whaling trolls you are only hurting the anti whaling cause.

      • Imforthewhales

        Hey herwin, you are the biggest loser of the lot.

      • herwin

        well, that’s nice, mr Anonymous, calling another anti whaling activist a looser.

  • strangeluck

    We win we win….I hope. If they come back they should finance us miltary types for just one season. I bet my mate Pete would roll with us.

  • Lynn

    Given so few people in Japan want whale meat; especially Japanese parents who cannot understand why Japanese schools are pressurised, by government, to have it on the menu even though the kids can’t stand it… it really is just obstinacy the Japanese insist on maintaining the senseless slaughter of these beautiful sentient beings.
    Anyway, keep up the great work Sea Shepherd.

    • Mick


      “even though the kids can’t stand it”

      That’s not quite true. It would be more accurate to say that ‘SOME kids can’t stand it’. I’ve talked to children who had whale meat at school. Some liked it and some did not. My children, for instance, like whale meat. The taste depends a lot on how it’s served. For instance, I can’t stand whale sashimi. However, fried whale with garlic and ginger is quite delicious.

      • boo radley

        I would have thought that the taste of whale meat would depend on how rich the whale meat was in PCBs and mercury?

      • Mick

        @boo radley

        In fact, whale meat is lower in PCB’s and mercury that other types of seafood.

  • Whoever…


    One more battle won…

    The final victory is near…

  • Hart Noecker

    Sea Shepherd’s escalation of non-violent force has reduced the lethal violence of Japanese serial killers.

  • Pingback: Stephen Colbert Congratulates Sea Shepherd On Whaling Victory | :: the latest in green gossip()

  • romika3

    It seems that the suspension of whaling has to do with keeping the crews out of harms way. There has been no change in policy or legislation regarding whaling by the Japanese. They are basically protecting their crew from the terror tactics employed by the SSCS. There is no victory just a recognition that the SSCS are using tactics that may result in the serious injury or the loss of life.

    • Imforthewhales

      Good…send them home!


      Now we just need to make sure they stay home!

  • Leonard Greene

    Pro-whalers are just sour because they chose to back the losing side.

    • Michael

      The dirty little secret is that whaling has become less profitable due to lower demand for the products of whaling.
      These clowns had no effect. If I were captain of one of those whaling boats, I would have shot the morons.
      The gene pool would be better off.

      • Rob

        Yeah, you’re a bright one aren’t ya? Flares and butter acid and you think you would get away with literal murder? Are you a complete idiot or just medicated beyond reason… Jackass.

  • Leonard Greene

    The pro-whalers backed the losing side. That is why they are so bitter.

  • rammingspeed

    It is always best to be on the side of the winners — clearly the Sea Shepherds are winners — the Japanese Whaling fleet are the losers.

  • Imforthewhales

    It took a while but we finally did it. Congrats everyone, you too Herwin.

    Special mention to romika3 and all his alter egos.

    • boo radley

      Come on pro whaling trolls…time to bend over!

    • herwin

      well, thank you, that’s very nice. Congrats to you too, at the end of this historic moment, eh. Finally the last serious commercial whaling operation has ended, forever. (Iceland only sporadicly kills whales, and most probably will stop because the whaling issue is an obstacle to join the European Union..)
      And for the whaling trolls, you’ve lost your piad trolling job, now it’s back to your old McDonald job, eh..

  • Imforthewhales

    “Via Captain Paul Watson: “All whaling operations in the Southern Ocean have been stopped due to the interventions of the three Sea Shepherd ships and the 88 international volunteers onboard who have physically blocked the ability of the Japanese to kill whales.” Thank you to every supporter, donor, volunteer, staff and crew who have made this possible.”
    53 minutes ago

  • Michael Raymer

    “It’s official – the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits in the Southern Ocean, at least for this season. And if they return next season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be ready to resume their efforts to obstruct and disable illegal Japanese whaling operations.

    “The Nisshin Maru made a significant course change immediately after the Japanese government made it official that the whaling fleet has been recalled,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen from the Bob Barker. “She looks like she’s going home!”

    The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker has been tailing the Japanese Nisshin Maru factory ship since February 9th making it impossible for the whalers to continue their illegal whaling operations.”

    There’s quite a few nay-sayers around here that can start lining up to eat their share of crow. And I don’t care if you are vegans. Eat that Crow! Eat It and Like It!!! You were wrong and the faithful have been completely vindicated! Eat That Crow! Eat It! Eat It and Like It!!! SSCS Wins…..Everyone That Doubted Them – Loses!

  • Pingback: Japan Officially Declares End To Whaling Season | :: the latest in green gossip()

  • Mick

    Me and my wife went to a whale meat resturant last saturday night. We had garlic rice with bits of fried whale bacon. Whale steak cooked medium rare and whale cutlet with salsa sauce. It was absolutely delicious! It turns out the owner has been attending IWC meetings as an observer. She said she had met watson many years ago. She also said he was the biggest liar she ever had the displeasure to meet.
    In their press release, the ICR stated, “This issue is not about whaling, but about the safety and violent activities at Sea.” I couldn’t agree more. The issue isn’t about whales. It is about SS’s use of violence which endangers the lives and safety of the crew members aboard the ICR ships. A scientific whaling inspector who works for the Japan Fisheries ministry, had this to say about SS, “No matter what your ideology is, there is no excuse to harm people.” She is absolutely right. There IS no excuse for SS’s violence, period.

    • spelling

      “My Wife and I” don’t you mean Mick?

      • herwin

        he means “me and the li’l misses”..

    • herwin

      thanks for sharing with us that japanese whale meat restaurant owners are a part of the japanese delegation and are observers at the IWC meetings.

      • Mick

        herwin, where in my post did I say that she was a member of the Japanese delegation?
        Of course, the fact that watson is a liar comes as no surprise to you.

      • Mick


        Where in my post did I say that she was a member of the Japanese delegation?

    • Michael Raymer

      “She also said he was the biggest liar she ever had the displeasure to meet.”

      Care to give specifics, or do we take frothing at the mouth as evidence? It has been pointed out too many times that for all the bleating about Watson-the-Liar, you never provide any sort of proof, conclusive or otherwise. It’s gotten to the point of mindless repetition through the mouths of puppets, “Watson is a liar. Watson is a liar.” Well, not puppets…parrots.

      ““This issue is not about whaling, but about the safety and violent activities at Sea.” I couldn’t agree more”

      When has anyone disagreed on this point? It is exactly about that. Just because you point an accusatory finger, don’t expect anyone to apologize.

      ‘ “No matter what your ideology is, there is no excuse to harm people.” She is absolutely right. There IS no excuse for SS’s violence, period. ‘

      What people have been harmed? More anti-whalers have gotten injured more seriously than whalers. So what’s your problem?

      Winning means never having to say you’re sorry, Mick. We win, the whales win, you lose.

      Cardinal Richelieu to Milady DeWinter: “But if in the end you should lose, try to do so with a becoming grace.”

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “Care to give specifics”

        She didn’t go into specifics.

        “When has anyone disagreed on this point?”

        So, you agree with the ICR’s position that the issue is not whaling but SS’s violent activities which threatens the lives and safety of crewmembers aboard the ICR ships.

        “What people have been harmed?”

        Crew members on board the ICR ships have been harmed and threatened with harm.

        “the whales win”

        Not quite. At best SOME whales win. Aboriginal whaling will continue because so-called “anti-whaling” people, organizations and countries support or do not oppose the “murder” of whales by indigeneous people.

    • abacus

      Good for you for eating whale meat. I hope you felt a deep sense of achievement there.

  • whiplash

    The irony in this whole thing is that fact the Japanese whalers are more of a danger to themselves than the SSCS is to them.

    Was it not last season a whaler went overboard and was never found? Season before that there was a gravly ill whaler that had to be flown to NZ for medical treatment? and lets not forget that fire that broke out on the Nisshin a few years back which killed at least one person, maybe 2?

    So if anything, the Japanese are saving their own lives by going back to Japan along with the whales of course. The same whales butchered under the bogus JARPAII research program.

    A great way to fall on ones sword Japan – another great embaressment and blow to the once almighty empire.

  • home remedy for hemorrhoids

    Hrmm that is unusual, my comment got swallowed. Anywho I want to to express that it’s great to learn that someone else also discussed this as I’d trouble locating the similar information in other places. This is the first place that helped me understand why. Appreciate it.