Your turn to save whales

Feature story - 20 January, 2006
The inflatable boats have been hauled in. The crew is exhausted, the ships need fuel, and it's time to take the campaign to save the whales from the high seas to the High Street, (or from the bounding main to the Main street, if you're North American).

44 activists from the Greenpeace ships Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise spell out a personal appeal.

Activists like Texas, Andrew, Lally, Nathan, Mikey, Phil and all theother folks you've come to know through the Oceans Defenders webloghave done all they can.  They've saved whales.  They'veslowed down the hunt.  They've alerted millions of people aroundthe world to the whale killing they've witnessed in the SouthernOcean.  Now it's up to all of us to act on what they'veshown us -- and finish the job.

We've spent 61 days at sea, half of them in front of theharpoons.  We've broken and fixed every boat we have at leastonce.  We've been rammed. We've had explosive harpoons fired overour heads.  Our activists have risked their lives in the freezingAntarctic waters and spent their holiday season away from family andloved ones for the chance to save a whale.

Here's a message from expedition leader Shane Rattenbury, to you oceandefenders and all who have been part of this exciting campaign for thelast few months:

Logistically we cannot remain in the Southern Ocean any longer, but this certainly isn't the last you'll hear of us.

The 57 crew on both Greenpeace ships want to thank everyone who hassupported our work down here by writing letters of support tonewspapers and websites, and also to thank our millions of individualfinancial supporters around the world. It's thanks to our new fastership, the Esperanza, that we were able to keep up with the whalers thewhole time, and we couldn't be down here without that support.


For a month now we have dogged, delayed and disrupted the whaling fleetin the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, and have no doubt that they havefallen far behind in their bid to slaughter 935 minke whales and 10endangered fin whales. It is our hope that this struggle will inspirepeople to help us defend whales, so that it goes down in history as thelast time the peaceful silence in the Sanctuary is broken by the soundof a grenade-tipped harpoon.

Whaling is not just the concern of governments and cryptic politicalmeetings. There is big business involved. While whaling is notprofitable, you might be surprised to learn of some famous seafoodcompanies' connections to whaling. We're asking you to help us make thewhaling stop.

Many companies outside Japan are owned by, or have contracts with,Nissui,  the corporation which owns one third of Kyodo Senpaku,which owns the whalingfleet.  We aim to  expose exactly how whalers profit from thefish you buy, and demand  those companies disassociate themselvesfrom whaling. 

Nissui need to know that whaling is bad forbusiness. 

When you sign up as an Ocean Defender, we'll sendyou ongoing information about who these  companies are and how youcan pressure them.

Already in Argentina, activists have convinced a popular seafoodcompany  to cancel contracts with Nissui corporation.  Injust 2  days over 21,000 cyberactivists contacted the company anddownloaded  stickers to place on Santa Elena products insupermarkets, to highlight  that the company was implicated in thekilling of whales.

In the US, we've hit whaler-owned seafood giant Gortons with nearly  40,000 letters from all around the world.

In Europe, Nissui is being hammered with pressure to use itsone-third  ownership of Kyodo Senpaku to pressure for a shut downof the whaling fleet.

And while we continue to pressure those targets, we're opening anew front with Sealord, a New Zealand-based fishing company thatis 50% owned by Nissui.  Sealord sells toseafood  distributors all over the world, and we'll be targettingproducts that  whalers profit from wherever they're sold. You can send a message to Sealord now.

Need a reminder of what we're asking you to oppose?

Watch this video of a minke whale taking over half an hour to die.

Need to know how far we're committed to ending this hunt?

Watch a harpoon fly one meter over the heads of our activists and see one of them tipped into the freezing Antarctic waters.

Need an assurance that you're not the only one that's going to do  anything about this?

Have a look at the comments on the Weblog. We are assembling anon-violent army from all over the world. Individually we're a drop.Together we're an ocean.

This is what Mikey was willing to do to save the whales; can you makeroom in your life to sign up for a newsletter, send a fewemails, and help us end the bloody whaling?

Become an Ocean Defender

Sign up to follow our year-long voyage to save the oceans and find out how you can help save the whales.

Support us

Help keep our ships in the water and our activists well-equipped.