Where in the World is the Japanese Whaling Fleet?

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Where in the world is the Japanese Whaling Fleet? By now they should be on their way to the Southern Ocean to murder whales.

The whaling fleet has not departed from Japan yet. They should be well on their way south, but the ships remain tied to the dock in the Land of the Rising Sun.

It would be wonderful if that is where they were to remain.  Perhaps they’ve thrown in the towel and will not be returning to the Southern Ocean. We can only hope.

There are many possibilities:

  1. They have quit and surrendered. Total victory for the whales.
  2. They heard Michelle Rodriguez is onboard the Steve Irwin, they saw Avatar and decided not to mess with her.
  3. The Emperor decided that it was time for Japan to enter the 21st Century and ordered the end to whaling.
  4. They’ve gone broke, and the Japanese government said, “hell no more subsidies you beggars, it’s time for you glorified welfare cases to get a real job.”

Or...it’s just politics. Today the Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara is meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Canberra for official talks on the Japanese Australian Free Trade Agreement.

It could be that the Japanese are simply being diplomatic and are waiting for the meetings to conclude before embarrassing the former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by sending off their fleet of poachers from Japan to plunder the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory in contempt of the Australian Federal Court.

It was Rudd who promised the Australian people that he would end illegal Japanese whaling operations. That was back in 2007 before he fell from grace with his party. The negotiations between Japan and Australia are very much going nowhere. Eleven rounds of talks since April 2007 have failed to seal a bilateral Free Trade Agreement.

Japan's illegal whaling activities in Australia waters are one of the sticky points.

Japan has also been pressuring Australia to stop the activities of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and to ban Sea Shepherd from Australian ports.

Currently, the Japanese whaling fleet is banned from Australian ports. Sea Shepherd has been receiving overwhelming support from the people of Australia, and the ports of Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle have been extremely supportive.

The Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation No Compromise, composed of Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Gojira will depart from Hobart, Tasmania on December 2nd to once again intercept the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.

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