Greenpeace witnesses the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean by ships of the Japanese whaling fleet. Banner on the Nisshun Maru factory ship says "Greenpeace Misleads you".
While our ships were relaying their message, two 'catcher
ships'arrived on the scene with dead minke whales hung from their
hulls,ready tobe transferred to the fleet's factory ship, the
Nisshin Maru. However,theEsperanza was blocking access to the
Nisshin Maru's stern ramp and one'catcher' tried to push the
Esperanza out of the way twice. TheEsperanza pulled back for the
crew's safety and no casualties arereported.
"This whale hunt is unnecessary, unjustified, and unwanted,"
saidExpedition leader Shane Rattenbury. In a radio call to the
whalingvessels, from the bridge of the Arctic Sunrise, Yuko Hirono,
ofGreenpeace Japan called upon the whalers to stop killing whales
"andleave the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Whale
Flying in the face of international protest and repeated calls
from theInternational Whaling Commission (IWC) to stop its annual
'scientific'whale hunt, this year FAJ has more than double its
planned catch ofminke whales to 935 and added 10 endangered fin
whales. Over the next 2years 40 more fin whales will be added to
the annual kill along with 50humpback whales. Fin whales are the
second largest creatures on earth,after blue whales.
"No one is fooled by the giant new "RESEARCH" sign which has
beenpainted on the side of the fleet's factory ship, the Nisshin
Maru. Oncethe whales are have been measured and weighed by the
'scientists' thebutchers get to work and the whales are cut up and
boxed for market,"said Rattenbury. "This is all about money and not
We are using every available means consistant with our principle
ofpeaceful protest to bring the hunt to an early endand make it the
last time the Sanctuary is breached by the whalers.
Greenpeace, the Environmental Investigation Agency and the
HumaneSociety of the US, have been tracking the money behind the
whalingfleets. We are currently focusing attention on the US
seafood giantGorton's, the US frozen-seafood market leader. US
consumers arefamiliar with its 'friendly family business' image,
but they are not sowhale-friendly. Gorton's is owned by Nissui USA,
a wholly-ownedsubsidiary of Nissui, Japan's second-largest marine
products firm, andone third of owner of Kyodo Senpaku, the company
that operates thewhaling fleet. Greenpeace is calling on Gorton's
to use its influenceto convince Nissui to bring an end to
"In a world were international public opinion is ignored and
wherehigh-level diplomatic pressure has failed, Greenpeace hopes
thatconsumers can once and for all demonstrate that there is no
profit inwhaling," said Rattenbury.
Statement to Nisshin Maru on first encounter
This is Shane Rattenbury, expedition leader on behalf of the MY
ArcticSunrise and MY Esperanza.
Our two vessels and the crew aboard are here to protest your
whalingprogram, and request that you return to Japan
The area in which you are hunting has been designated as the
AntarcticWhale Sanctuary, designed to help whale populations
recover after thedevastating commercial whaling of the last
The whales in this Sanctuary are protected from
commercialwhaling. Your so-called scientific whaling has
beenrepeatedlycriticized by the International Whaling Commission,
and is nothing morethan commercial whaling in disguise.
The massive increase in quota this season simply underlines that
thisis an attempt to restart commercial whaling.
You also plan to hunt the endangered fin whale. There issimply
no justification for targeting an endangered species.
We respectfully request that you immediately cease your whaling
andleave this area. If you do leave now, we will leave withyou.
If you do not leave, we will have no option but tointerferewith
your whaling program.
Greenpeace is a non-violent organisation. We will do
nothingtoharm or endanger your vessels, your equipment or your
crew. Wewill, however, use all peaceful means at our disposal to
prevent youfrom killing whales.
We wish you safe sailing.
Greenpeace first contact with the whaling fleet was at 66˚ south
Additional images: Greenpeace activists pounded by icy water
from whaling fleet hoses ©Greenpeace/Kate Davison, right Japanese
whaling fleet ship Kyo Maru heads towards the Greenpeace ship
Esperanza. ©Greenpeace/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Tell Gorton's and Nissui that their customers do not support whaling!
Read the weblog
Check out the weblog for latest updates