Esperanza Heads to Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

Feature story - January 26, 2007
This year the Japanese government aims to hunt almost 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean whales sanctuary. Once again Greenpeace will be there to defend the whales.

Our largest and fastest ship, Esperanza, is currently in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary searching for the Japanese whaling fleet.

The ship's crew will stay as long as they can amongst the icebergs in the freezing waters of Antarctica.  They will help the whales escape the hunt by putting themselves between the whales and the harpoon.

This year's expedition leader is New Zealander Karli Thomas.  Karli has a special affinity with whales as she often was out helping save beached whales on Farewell Spit as a child.

Last year over 800 whales died for profit. Greenpeace confronted the whale hunters in the Southern Ocean, saving 82 whales from being killed. We showed  the world the brutality of whaling and through public pressure forced corporations out of the whaling business.

This year, the crew will be carrying out new tactics - many designed by our supporters via the IGO community website. You don't have to be on the ship to help save whales!

While our crew braves the Southern Ocean we will also be focusing on engaging the large number of people in Japan who do not support whaling in the sanctuary starting with 'Whale Love Wagon' - our new internet television show!

Spanish boy meets Japanese girl - Ivan and Yuki hit the road and tour Japan in the "Whale Love Wagon", in search of true love - for the planet, and for whales! They're going to have a whale of a time.

"I've loved Japanese culture since my childhood," says Ivan, "I want to learn more about whales and Japanese culture."

Yuki adds, "I want to deepen my knowledge about whales and express my feelings in my art-work".

You can tune in at www.whalelove.org