Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Sea Shepherd Drones Locate Whaling Fleet Before Hunt Begins

Like us on Facebook:
The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

Last year, we wondered if maybe Sea Shepherd was building up a robot army to help them find the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean. The organization was reportedly looking into robotically-controlled flying cameras, equipped with both GPS and video/still cameras. As it turns out, the Sea Shepherds have indeed had some robot help this year.

According to a SSCS press release, the crew manning the conservation org’s new drones was able to intercept the whaling fleet before they even hit their destination. The ships were located roughly one thousand miles north of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Whaling factory ship, Nisshin Maru, was found and photographed by a drone named Nicole Montecalvo, launched from the Steve Irwin. The drone was donated by Bayshore Recycling and Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security, both in New Jersey. Drones on the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker have enabled the crews to have the Nisshin Maru’s position relayed to them, and rendered the factory ship unable to escape from the Sea Shepherds. Captain Paul Watson said, “We can cover hundreds of miles with these drones and they have proven to be valuable assets for this campaign. This is going to be a long hard pursuit from here to the coast of Antarctica. But thanks to these drones, we now have an advantage we have never had before – eyes in the sky.”

The Sea Shepherd ships will continue to follow the whaling fleet as the ships move toward the whale sanctuary. As Steve Irwin Quartermaster Eleanor Lister said, “The chase is on for the next 1000 miles.” Three whaling vessels are spending their time and fuel tailing the Steve Irwin, while the Bob Barker is unfollowed, and the super-fast Brigitte Bardot will be heading for the factory ship. The anti-whaling activists are optimistic about the campaign.

According to ABC News, Jeff Hansen of Sea Shepherd Australia said of their technology used to find the fleet, “This is a very effective tactic that we did last year, it was so effective that the whalers went home over a month early and called it quits and we saved 858 whales out of a possible 1,035. This year we’re sitting for a full, complete victory in the sense that no whales will be killed and that’s our mission.”

According to Bayshore Recycling, their drone has also aided Sea Shepherd’s bluefin tuna campaign off the coast of Libya. The company says, “BRC stresses the importance of conserving our planet’s natural habitats. Whether it is saving natural resources, conserving energy, preserving endangered wildlife or recycling household debris—Bayshore rises to the challenge. Together, BRC and the SSCS will fight to save the ocean and its vulnerable inhabitants.”

Below, you can see another photo taken by drone Nicole Montecalvo, of security guards aboard the Shonan Maru #2 as the closely watch the Sea Shepherds.

Like us on Facebook:
  • romika3

    I saw a pic of the SSCS drone. It is not a drone but a RC airplane with a camera. There is a big difference between a drone and a radio controlled airplane with a camera. Another exaggeration by the SSCS, not surprising of course as they will do anything to get footage for next years season of Whale Wars.

  • Nervhq

    Huburistic , self righteous, militant eco-terrorists, by your reasoning we should still be homoerectus seeking neandratalis and denying any potentiality. We all move forward and there will be costs

  • Life is in the Ocean

    This is awesome. Hopefully and thanks to Sea Shepperd the Japanese whale hunt this year will net no whales.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      It’s never happened before. Even last year when they firebombed one of the whaling ships, they still managed to get more than 150 whales.

  • Ivanholko2

    Who is supplying the militay drone to thses pirates of the Southern Seas?, and who is backing and financing them?.

  • Thanks Sea Shepherd for saving the whales!

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      For what? lol You must be new.

  • TheHerbalGerbil

    The drone didn’t locate the whaling fleet – its range is less than that of the Steve Irwin’s radar. All the drones do is get the first pictures.

    They’re not anything particularly special anyway. Remember, Sea Shepherd has already had a **helicopter** for years now.

    The drone is just a new toy they figured they may as well show off.

  • TheHerbalGerbil

    Note: The author is an “onshore volunteer” for Sea Shepherd.

    Conflict of interest?

  • romika3

    All the talk now is about the SSCS and its “drones”. When the public hears the word “drone” what comes to mind are the “drones” employed by the US military in the conflicts in the far east. But in reality the SSCS drone is not one of these but rather a Jackaroo UAA or similar model (http://www.attopilotinternational.com/products/airframes/jackaroo-uas.html) which is basically an upper end RC airplane that can carry cameras, mice or what ever you want to put in payload.

    The SSCS has evolved into a production company and whatever gimmicks Mr. Watson can employ to get “footage” for the next seasons reality show they will use. Kids will love the episode on the drone and its crew of 10 ( !!!!) battling the Japanese on the high seas. In fact this should bring in more donations from the little piggy banks and translated into more product sales. See this interview when Mr. Watson talks about his funding base


    So again here is this organization making money of the backs for the common fishermen of eastern Canada, the Faroe Islands and the Japanese etc. In most cases these fisheries are legal, managed and sustainable. What real issues need tackling are done so through physical attacks and cultural demonizing. it is proven time after time that this approach does not bring about real change but it makes for good reality TV and brings the money in from those who are ignorant of the reality of the issue. Shame on the SSCS for feeding off the common fisherman and distorting the youths understanding of what conservation is all about….

  • TheHerbalGerbil
    • romika3

      One bat boat down and one grownup toy RC airplane down. Now if somehow Watson can end up staying out for this year then perhaps a REAL conservation organization can step in and begin working hand in hand with the Japanese to work out of the issues associated with the few endangered whales they harvest.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z sell out veganism for ticket giveaway

Veganism deserves better than constantly being considered something to be bribed, dared or loosely entered into.

Month one of “the year of the vegan”

News outlets are abuzz with the promise of new vegan products, celebs, and services and how that is somehow a fresh affirmation that our world is one turn closer to being fully free from animal use.

What About: “No-Kill” Eggs?

The reason for these advancements is not a sense of justice – because that can only mean going vegan – but is primarily driven by economics.

Vegandale Brewery offers the ultimate vegan night out

This brewpub helps veganism shed its stay-home-and-eat-tofu stereotype.

Don’t blame vegans for the shame you feel about using animals

The shame Carly Lewis claims veganism casts over her is more likely the ghosts of moral uncertainty, spectres that are more likely fish than cows, wondering how morality can possibly be used as ammunition in favour of murder.