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Japan Suspends Whaling After Clashes with Sea Shepherd

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After a day of intense clashes with the Sea Shepherd, the Japanese whaling fleet has suspended operations – with many predicting that their hunt in the Southern Ocean may be over for the season.

To say the last 24 hours have been messy would be an understatement. As you can see in photos like the one below, the combination of the Sea Shepherd’s four protest vessels, plus the Japanese fleet, one oil tanker, and dangerous ice conditions made for some very intense moments.

sea shepherd ice

“I don’t think we have ever had a more eventful few hours in the nine years we have been opposing the whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and certainly there has never been a day when all of our ships were rammed one after another,” writes Paul Watson on Facebook. “It is also the first time we have ever been rammed by the Nissin Maru, and to top it all off, the Japanese factory ship four times rammed and damaged their own supply tanker, the Sun Laurel.”

Despite the hostilities, Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research said their reason for suspending the hunt has more to do with the difficulty in refueling; something the Sea Shepherd can certainly take credit for. Watson said the fleet currently appears to be “in disarray,” with the oil tanker “acting like they have had enough and may be heading home.”

In an interview with ABC News, he made a strong prediction that victory for the organization may yet again be within sight. “The season is over in 18 days,” he said. “They couldn’t go up north and refuel again. It’s all over and done with I think for this year.”


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  • marcela gomez

    this are great news!!!!

  • Eddy Franklin

    hey brilliant!!

  • whiplash

    Why would Sea Shepherd risk interfering with a refuelling operation involving a fuel tanker in Antarctica? It was bad enough when they dumped the wreckage of the Ady Gil and its diesel oil into those waters. But this is just crazy. Greenpeace needs to intervene to stop Sea Shepherd from trashing the Southern Ocean.

    • PokerRay

      You just used “Greenpeace” and “intervene” in the same sentence. That’s funny.
      No one “dumped” the Ady Gil and no one dumped any diesel into the water. Facts oftentimes get in the way of the myth, don’t they.
      Fuel tankers are illegal in the Southern Ocean. Got any indignation about that, or did you use it all up?

    • Lee

      ddpalmer? is that you? impersonating again?


  • toshio yashiro

    Whaling industry of Japan looks complicated.
    However, a conclusion is
    very simple.
    Whaling of Japan of the Antarctic Ocean exists only in the act
    which “kills whales “.
    It is the industry of only” killing whales”.
    1) A
    fishery prefecture has a 5000-ton stockpile.
    2) It was reported by IFAW that
    Japanese people hardly consume whale meat.
    The act which kills this whale
    gives a *2 billion yen economic effect to a fleet-of-whalers port of call.
    meaning will not be made, if this whaling is “research whaling” for the
    Agency and it will be “commercial whaling.” Although the whale meat
    which is a by-product of the “research whaling” which they say will sell, it
    will not sell, but this does not have a meaning, either.
    The Japanese
    government has continued claiming “Food culture” and “tradition” as an
    overseas-oriented announcement.
    The act of this “whale murder” is just the
    truth that they want to continue. However,
    this cannot be announced to the
    world honestly.
    The government of one country is making industry continue
    only the murder act of other races. (**A tax is used and revival money is
    appropriated for the budget. )
    The Yamaguchi prefecture is the greatest
    whaling promotion prefecture. In order for Prime Minister expression Abe from
    Yamaguchi Prefecture to affirm this slaughter
    industry, the maximum tries
    hard. The Abe whaling Cabinet was supported by the
    powerful whaling lobby
    group, and was inaugurated.
    Please note that the diplomacy of the future
    Japanese government is made for the purpose of whaling industrial continuation.

    If it does not yield to the pressure from the world but whaling of the
    Japanese government continues to industrial continuation of only this slaughter,
    I will suspect
    “the Japanese government is a stockpile of the whale meat for
    the third
    World War.”
    This war preparation must be a threat to the world.

    The Western countries which have not yielded to ODA money of Japan should
    examine to Japan.
    *”charges for custody of a cold storage warehouse . Stay of
    the family of crew, such as an agency about the delivery charge to every place,
    and entry into port, the
    persons concerned, etc. etc. — economic effect of
    presumption of about 2
    billion yen .Shimonoseki is aimed at as a lasting base
    of a whaling survey ship team.”
    By Shimonoseki-shi, Mayor Tomoaki Nakao (
    Yamaguchi Prefecture ).
    **It is an about 2,300 million yen subsidy as
    “revival of an
    area-devastated-by-an-earthquake region” to a research whaling

    Tradition ? food culture? Infanticide of a whale? NO!
    Japanese government and the whaling industry cannot perform logical explanation
    justly to the world about this slaughter. Because, “there is whaling
    All reasons were attached later.
    This act of the Japanese
    government for the purpose of slaughter should be judged by the

    “Abe whaling Cabinet.”
    1, “Shinzo
    Abe ” (new prime minister
    ), comes from Yamaguchi- prefecture and
    Yamaguchi-prefecture is a huge
    whaling promotion prefecture.
    ( Shimonoseki is the city of the Yamaguchi
    prefecture. )
    2, “Yoshimasa Hayashi ” (as new minister of agriculture,
    forestry and fisheries-the
    position responsible for whaling policy).He also
    comes Yamaguchi -Prefecture.
    3, “Taro Aso ” ( vice Prime Minister minister)
    is also powerful “pro-whaling lobby”
    4, “Shigeru Ishiba
    ( Liberal
    Democratic Party whaling Diet members’ league)

    Now It is becoming famous
    that “Shinzo Abe ” is the greatest whaling promoter.
    His wife advertizes a
    whale meat hamburger and enjoys a dolphin show.
    Abe ,himself commented to the
    press that the Yamaguchi prefecture is the prime minister’s place of production.
    I think that this means taking the prime minister’s post
    by support of
    powerful whaling Lobby group. That is, Abe who became the prime
    minister has
    the consciousness that whose whaling industry is protected it is a

    1) “The Japanese whalers are far more aggressive this year than in
    2) Introduction of the tax fund and the tsunami relief
    funds to whaling industry
    Present Cabinet began to move to “the mission of
    whaling industrial relief”
    I say once again.
    Slaughter of a
    whale which this Japan is performing is the most meaningless in the long history
    of the human being who kills other races.
    This act of the Japanese government
    for the purpose of slaughter should be judged by the world.
    Did major media
    of Japan tell the Japanese in IFAW`s precious information
    and the overseas
    report of a whaling issue?
    It is this very manipulation of information to
    make thinking of a whaling issue
    stopped in japan. Why are Japanese people
    ignorance at a whaling issue?

    “The Japanese whale research institute”
    uses every year on publicity work in 600 million yen.
    There are very many
    differences of the whaling issue information in overseas and Japan by the
    manipulation of information of major media.
    “The Japanese need to get to
    know nothing. Pay a tax silently. Whaling is

    nationalized.” This is the
    expectation of the Japanese government.
    It is this very manipulation of
    information to make thinking of a whaling issue stopped.
    The young
    generation in the Internet may smash this nostalgic whaling delusion generation.
    This is the only hope in Japan.
    The world should not accept industrial
    continuation of
    that the government of one state only murders other races on
    this earth.

    And the Japanese government and a fishery prefecture are
    going to nationalize this

    • AnimuX

      Moderator, is there any way of deleting that garbage?

      • AnimuX

        *yawn* @ another impersonator.

        What happened here? A tanker illegally entered the Antarctic Treaty Zone to supply fuel to a whale poaching operation acting in defiance of an international moratorium on commercial whaling within an internationally established whale sanctuary.

        When the activists prevented the poachers from refueling, the poacher rammed the protesters to try and push them out of the way causing a lot of damage in the process.

        Japan’s government is so corrupt it literally raised taxes promising to spend that money on reconstruction for homes and businesses wrecked by a tsunami — then took $30 million of that money and used it for whaling to profit the business interests of bureaucrats in the fisheries agency…

        The headline should read ‘More government spending wasted on whaling after Japanese road rage results in repair bills’…

  • vvvvvlllll

    Good news.

  • Karl Malloy

    United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Chief Judge Kozinski writing the unanimous opinion: “You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be…The preliminary injunction we issued on December 17, 2012, Inst. of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd
    Conservation Soc’y, 702 F.3d 573 (9th Cir. 2012), will remain in effect until
    further order of this court.”s

    From the injunction: “In no event shall defendants [SSCS] approach plaintiffs [Japan ICR] any closer than 500 yards when defendants are navigating on the open sea. In no event shall defendants approach plaintiffs any closer than 500 yards when defendants are navigating on the open sea.”

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