The crews of the Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise are once again in action in the Southern Ocean after 10 days of no whales being killed. Expedition leader Shane Rattenbury said: "We caught up with the whalers again late last night and saw seven whale carcasses on the deck. Four activists in an inflatable boat are on the water, near the Kyo Maru catcher ship, acting to defend the whales caught in the sights of the harpoons."
Friday 6 January - The action in the Southern Ocean continues as activists follow the trail of blood left by a harpooned minke whale being taken for processing.
"The Esperanza crew saw at least 4 more dead whales being
transferred from the two catchers today," added Shane.
On December 21, the longest day of the year in the Southern
Ocean, after a month at sea
we foundthe Japanese whaling fleet. For the first few days it
was all hands ondeck and all inflatables in the water as we blocked
the harpooner'sline of sight and defended whales and as we slowed
the transfer ofwhales from the catchers to the fleets factory ship
the Nisshin Maru.
Mikey, an Australian activist, earned himself the reputation of
"whale rider" as he
heroically clung to a dead whale,brandishing a "Stop Whaling"
banner while being blasted with firehoses."I must admit the look of
dismay I had on my face when I looked up atthe whaling crew and
they were looking down with smugness andlaughter," he wrote in our
The crews sent
stunning photographs and
video footage to the world. Some of that footage was analysed
by the International
Fund for Animal Welfare(IFAW). IFAW scientist and whale expert
Vassili Papastavrou, whowatched the footage, said: "We were told by
Greenpeace this whale took10 minutes to die. This is how a whale
was killed when the boats werebeing observed, so what happens when
they're not being seen?"
Then, in an unprecedented move, the whaling fleet fled. We have
been tothe Southern Ocean seven times to halt whaling in the past,
and thiswas the first time that we kept a fleet on the run for
several days.But this is also the first time that we have had our
fastest ship, theEsperanza, in the Southern Ocean.
The Japanese ships fledalmost 2,000 nautical miles (3,700km)
over the past 11 days, putting atemporary stop to their whaling
operations. The fleet may now be undereven more pressure to meet
their quota. Shane said, "We lost track ofthe fleet for about 24
hours after they refuelled, but we are back inplace ready to ensure
they don't meet their new whaling quota of 935minke and 10 fin
Stay tuned to the weblog for the
Large international companies are linked to whaling. Tell Gorton's and Nissui that their customers do not support whaling!