Greenpeace chases whaling fleet from hunting grounds

Feature story - January 13, 2008
Following a 10-day search in Antarctic waters, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza confronted Japan’s whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and immediately engaged in a high speed chase over hundreds of miles through fog and increasingly rough seas. The factory ship Nisshin Maru has now been driven out of the hunting grounds and all whaling has stopped -- for now.

If they try to start whaling, the Esperanza's international crew of activists will take non-violent direct action to prevent the Japanese government's slaughter of nearly 1,000 whales, including 50 endangered fin whales.

Activists will drive inflatable boats between the whaler's harpoons and the whales while using high-powered water pumps to create a curtain of icy water, obscuring the harpooner's view. 

We will do nothing to harm or endanger the Japanese vessels or crew. We will, however, use all peaceful means at our disposal to stop the killing of any more whales.

Update, January 14th: The Nisshin Maru and the catcher boat Yusshin Maru are currently outside the hunting grounds. Without the factory ship whaling cannot continue. We suspect they will refuel soon and offload whale meat that has already been processed. The Esperanza continues to keep the Nisshin Maru in sight.