Japan whale poachers running out of steam – ‘The Nisshin Maru has resigned itself as unable to outrun the determination of the Sea Shepherd Fleet’Posted by Jim at Sunday, January 26, 2014
25 January 2014 (SSCS) – The Japanese whaling fleet has abandoned its plans to out-run the Sea Shepherd Fleet, with its factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru, slowing down to 12 knots after a 36 hour chase at full speed.
At approximately 1300 AEDT today, the Nisshin Maru, flanked by the harpoon vessels, Yushin Maru and Yushin Maru No. 2, reduced its speed and changed course for due west. The Sea Shepherd Fleet now surrounds the whale poachers, with The Bob Barker six nautical miles ahead of the whalers, The Steve Irwin six nautical miles to the eastern side of the poachers, and The Sam Simon approaching from the south.
Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “The Nisshin Maru has resigned itself as unable to outrun the determination of the Sea Shepherd Fleet. We will shadow them wherever they try to run and if they attempt to kill any more whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the Sea Shepherd ships are in position to stand fast.”
The Japanese whaling fleet had been trying to out run the Sea Shepherd Fleet since Friday 24th January at 2050 AEDT, when The Bob Barker located the Nisshin Maru, effectively suspending whale poaching operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Captain of The Steve Irwin, Sid Chakravarty, said, "For the past 36 hours, the Sea Shepherd ships have led the Nisshin Maru and her flotilla of harpoon ships 600 miles away from the whaling grounds. We had promised to find the poachers again and chase them out of the sanctuary and we have achieved that. We remain relentless; thwarting every attempt and outmaneuvering every move that the whaling fleet makes."
By Andrew Darby
25 January 2014
(Sydney Morning Herald) – The Japanese whaling fleet is said to be on the run again in the Antarctic after being found by activists who followed up a tip from the Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt.
The factory ship Nisshin Maru was re-located in the Ross Sea, far south-east of Australia, by the Sea Shepherd activists after it gave them the slip earlier in January.
Following the first Australian Customs aerial monitoring flight of the fleet, on 14 January, Mr Hunt said the aircraft located Nisshin Maru over 1,000 nautical miles away from the Australian Search and Rescue Zone.
"From this, Sea Shepherd was able to deduce the location of the whaling fleet," the activists said in a statement.
They finally chased down Nisshin Maru by following a trail of butchered whale parts in the water, according to Peter Hammarstedt, captain of the Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker.
"After the weather cleared, on Friday we saw a piece of whale blubber in the water and knew that we were close," Mr Hammarstedt told Fairfax Media. "We followed it up for 10 hours and there it was.
"I am about 13 nautical miles behind them with the Bob Barker, and the Steve Irwin is about 12 nautical miles in front of them," Mr Hammartsetd said on Saturday.
"We have them boxed in. We seem to be quite steady with them, matching speed. There really should be no way of them getting away from us." [more]