by Paul Watson
The Steve Irwin has arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand. One of the harpoon boats followed it all the way back to New Zealand waters. The Ocean Warrior is still chasing the Nisshin Maru and is being hunted by a second of the three harpoon vessels.
The Japanese whalers have doubled their kill area and reduced their kill quota. This makes them harder to catch with less time to catch them in.
Operation Nemesis is almost over but it has been a great success despite the ships being unable to engage the Nisshin Maru at close quarters.
Despite some claims that the whaling fleet has returned to Japan, Captain Adam Meyerson on the Ocean Warrior said today he had one of the harpoons ships in sight.
The reason for this is really bad weather, expensive tracking technology and much greater killing area.
However here are the positive points.
- The fleet has three harpoon boats and two of them have spent most of the time trying to chase the Sea Shepherd ships over the last two and a half months.
- The factory ship has been on the run continuously making it difficult to get their quota of 333 whales.
- Because of Sea Shepherd's past interventions, the kill quota although still illegal has been reduced from 1,035 to 333
- Because of Sea Shepherd's past intervention not a single whale was slaughtered during the 2014/2015 season.
- Having only one harpoon vessel and continuously on the run.
- The whaling fleet has spent an enormous among of money on extra fuel and supplies.
- The Sea Shepherd helicopter did document illegal whaling in Australian territorial waters. The factory ship was lost again due to severe weather.
Will they get their quota? We don't know but if they do, Sea Shepherd will have forced them to pay dearly for it.
Consider that prior to Sea Shepherd's interventions, the whaling fleet took two and a half months to kill 1,035 whales. With the fleet now down in the Southern Ocean, why have they spent two and a half months to try and kill 333 whales.
Sea Shepherd as a small conservation movement has made amazing progress almost every year since 2005 in combatting a highly illegal activity by one of the world's most powerful nations.
The volunteer men and women on the Steve Irwin and the Ocean Warrior have done an absolutely incredible job exposing and opposing illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean this season. They dedicated their time, took time away from their families especially over Christmas, they weathered quite a few storms and hazardous ice conditions and brought the Japanese crimes once again before the eyes of the world.
Operation Nemesis has kept the entire Japanese whaling fleet on the move continuously, costing them time, costing them money and keeping two thirds of the fleet of harpoon boats busy and not whaling the entire season.
The crew have earned some shore time in Dunedin. Meanwhile the Ocean Warrior carries on the pursuit a few thousand miles to the South of Dunedin.
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