5 January 2014 (SSCS) – The Sea Shepherd Fleet has located all five vessels of the Japanese whale poaching fleet, including the Japanese factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

The Steve Irwin, The Bob Barker, and The Sam Simon are now in pursuit of the whaling fleet, driving them away from their intended poaching grounds, disrupting their illegal hunt, and preparing to shut down their whale-killing operations.

The Steve Irwin’s helicopter first located the Nisshin Maru at 64°44' S, 162°34' W, in New Zealand’s sovereign waters in the Ross Dependency Antarctic region, and inside the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd has obtained compelling footage and images of three dead protected Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, taken at the time the factory ship was first located. A fourth whale, believed to be a Minke, was being butchered on the bloodstained deck. […]

Three dead, protected Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, 5 January 2014. The Steve Irwin's helicopter first located the Nisshin Maru at 64°44' S, 162°34' W, in New Zealand's sovereign waters in the Ross Dependency Antarctic region, and inside the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Photo: Sea Shepherd

The Japanese whale poaching fleet operates in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in contravention of the 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research. In June 2013, the government of New Zealand joined the Australian government’s challenge to the legality of Japan’s whale hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at the International Court of Justice. A judgment on the case is yet to be delivered.

Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “Once again, the Japanese government has shown flagrant disregard for international law by continuing their illegal whale hunt while the world patiently awaits a decision from the International Court of Justice. The Japanese government’s dishonourable attempt the skirt the legal process is an insult to the cooperation demonstrated by people around the world, dedicated to enacting conservation laws out of a shared recognition for the need for environmental protection.” [more]

Sea Shepherd Locates Whale Poachers

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