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Sea Shepherd locates factory ship Nisshin Maru, says whaling season is shut downSea Shepherd locates factory ship Nisshin Maru, says whaling season is shut down

Sea Shepherd Finds Factory Ship, Says Whaling Season is Shut Down

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The Sea Shepherd volunteers have spent months at sea for Operation Divine Wind, their eighth campaign to Antarctica to oppose Japan’s whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. After battling rough seas and losing the use of one of their ships, comes good news for the conservation organization.

Sea Shepherd reports that the Bob Barker has located the whaling factory ship, Nisshin Maru. Captain Paul Watson received a satellite phone call from Bob Barker Captain Peter Hammarstedt, who said “Eureka! Paul, we have the Nisshin Maru in our sights.” The ship and three harpoon vessels were found sixty miles off the coast of Antarctica and in the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone, according to Sea Shepherd.

The organization says that all whaling has stopped as the Nisshin Maru now has to try to flee from the faster Bob Barker. “We have kept them running for two months and that has disrupted their operations considerably, but now with the Bob Barker on their stern slipway whaling is effectively shut down for 2012,” said Hammarstedt.

Watson reports that the Steve Irwin was able to lead security vessel Shonan Maru 2 and the Yushin Maru 3 away from the Bob Barker, enabling the Bob Barker to locate and follow the Nisshin Maru. The Steve Irwin is now returning to Australia after a long campaign. Watson said, “This has been a long and tough campaign, with the worst weather and ice conditions that we have experienced in the entire eight seasons we have ventured into the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Despite the temporary loss of our scout ship, the Brigitte Bardot, and our constant dogged pursuit of the Nisshin Maru, we have kept them on the run, taken two of their three harpoon vessels off the hunt for two months, severely crippled their killing capabilities, and now once again we have shut them down 100%. Operation Divine Wind has been enormously successful.”

Animal Planet announced back in December that the fifth season of Whale Wars will air this year, and there are some reports that a preview of the spinoff featuring footage of Sea Shepherd’s Faroe Islands campaign has already been watched by some viewers.

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  • But the whalers – the Institute for Cetacean Research – say their season, which typically runs through the end of March, will continue as planned.

    Institute spokesman Glenn Inwood said the activists aren’t achieving anything.

    “Sea Shepherd has shut nothing down,” he said.

    • Claire

      Glenn Inwood also claimed that the Bob Barker hadn’t spotted the Nisshin Maru by saying: “‘You can view the latest photographs of your mates at Sea Shepherd illegally attacking the Shonan Maru No 2 and Yushin Maru No 3 on the ICR website. The Nisshin Maru is nowhere to be seen.” Obviously Inwood missed the memo. All he had to do was look at the Sea Shepherd press release which included a picture of the NM taken from the BB. And there is also a media reel/video released by Sea Shepherd that shows the NM as clear as day. I don’t know what Inwood has been smoking……

      Yes, if you look at those pictures you won’t see the NM, but that’s because those pictures were taken BEFORE the BB found the NM. Plus, the SM2 is nowhere near the BB and the NM as it is still tailing the SI as it heads back to Melbourne.

      Everything Inwood says has to be taken with a grain of salt. Half the time he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.

      • TheHerbalGerbil

        It’s called timing, Claire.

    • Sarah Vaz

      I’m curious how much of that ICR statement is for PR purposes, though. There’s nothing preventing misrepresentation of facts on either side. Obviously people would be less likely to support SS financially if they believed they were not achieving anything. Its difficult to discern the facts of the matter from statements by either party, but hopefully there will be some independent reporting on this.

  • A_Wilson

    Did Sea Shepherd provide this file photo of the NM to give the impression they are closer than they are? An aerial shot and I believe that the Barker has no helicopter.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      The author of the article is a Sea Shepherd volunteer, so that answers half the question for you: The photo was provided by Sea Shepherd. Whether the intent was to deceive is anybody’s guess, but fan deception *is* an important part of their MO….

      • Jennifer Mishler

        Sea Shepherd did not send the photo to me to use. I found the photo and credited them, as it is their photo. They did not deceive anyone, nor did I or Ecorazzi. I chose it because it’s a photo of the Nisshin Maru, the factory ship in this post. It is not meant to be a picture of the ship taken by Sea Shepherd at this time.

        • A_Wilson

          Maybe when you post a photo of the ship that you report has just been found, it should be credited and listed as ‘File Photo’ if it is not currently related to the story.

  • Skylerbrooke

    Seeing a ship through binoculars can shut it down, amazing.

  • Captain Paul Watson

    Glen Inwood is a paid media whore and is hired to defend the whalers, He says what he is paid to say. The proof of our success this season will be revealed when the Japanese whalers release their kill statistics in April. They need to kill 600 whales to break even. They won’t take half that number.

    • Beitz Evers

      You have a paid television crew following you around, so you’re not really in any position to call someone else a media whore. The difference between you and Glenn Inwood is that Inwood’s information is usually reliable.

      Oh and the Japanese are on a research mission, their goal is not to “break even”. Your operation is indeed pathetic if you have to wait to hear from the whalers before you know if you were successful.

    • A_Wilson

      How do you measure your success, Mr Watson? Of a potential 13 week season this year, you have searched fruitlessly for 10.5 of those weeks for the fleet. Even now you are yet to be blocking their slipway–you merely chase. And we have seen that they are able to whale on the run.

      You predict less than 300 whales? Will that be your measure of success? I’d think that number to be low given that only one harpoon ship took 173 last year in 5.5 weeks. Double that time for this season and add a second harpoon vessel that has been with the NM at least half of the time.

      600 to break even? Watson math? I doubt that the NM will even hold that many minke, but we shall see. The average take for minke under JARPA II is close to 500.; under JARPA it was 440. It woulds seem that below 600 would be the rule rather than the exception.

      The number of whales taken each year depends upon a variety of factors; length of season, start time of season, number of harpoon vessels, weather, ability to off load cargo midseason, and interference by you. You are but one of these factors and by finding the fleet at this late stage of the game, it is plain for all to see the ‘proof of your success’ and how much impact you really had. The best that can be said for these recent developments is that you finally will get footage for your television show.

      • Claire

        Well, it looks like Paul was right in predicting the whalers would take no more than 300 whales, or 30% of their quota.

        “Speaking to the ABC in Tokyo the Japanese Fisheries Agency revealed the whaling fleet finished its hunt three days ago and is now heading for home.

        The agency also confirmed the fleet caught 266 minke whales, less than 30 % of its quota.

        The whalers also harpooned a single fin whale, despite having a quota of 50.”

        By my calculations that’s 267 whales total. The second most successful campaign for Sea Shepherd in the Southern Ocean.

        Source: http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201203/3449811.htm?desktop

        • Beitz Evers

          God help any conservation endeavour that relies on Watsonian math to measure it’s success. That’s no success at all.

          • Captain Paul Watson

            No success for the ICR and their supporters certainly. A great success to Sea Shepherd and the whales.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      “They need to kill 600 whales to break even.”

      Interesting revelation. Where did you glean that from?

      • Captain Paul Watson

        The Japanese Fishery Agency.

    • Captain Paul Watson

      Confirmed by the ICR. 267 whales killed. My prediction of under 300 was spot on!

  • Glenn Inwood once described the Sea Shepherd liars as an “ocean-going Joseph Goebbels”.

  • noleman1

    Hopefully the 2013 whaling season will be more successful for the Japanese whalers. Would like to see them send out more ships that are smaller and faster to run interference with Watsons ships and protect the factory ship and harpoon ships, as well as using the infamous prop foulers on Watsons ships that Watson is so eager to use on the Japanese and using multiple helicopters themselves. Also since Watsons crew is trying to disable the Japanese ships it seems that the use of more drastic and physical force is warranted as necessary to protect the safety of the Japanese crew. Go Whalers!!!

    • PokerRay

      Really? And why are you invested in seeing whales die for no purpose?

  • Mike123456789123456789

    Apparently the SS Bob Barker, doesn’t watch the show. From
    what I saw they were shut down by the harpoon ships. Personally I don’t believe they found the Nisshin
    Maru. Their radar would have picked the
    Bob Barker, long before it got close.
    The SS crews are the first to cry foul when they are confronted when
    their own tactics are turned against them.
    It’s about time the Japanese
    started to defend themselves. May be
    with luck Paul Watson will be watching the show from a Costa Rican prison.

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