Your turn to save whales

Feature story - January 24, 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 the other folks you've come to know through the Oceans Defenders weblog have done all they can.  They've saved whales.  They've slowed down the hunt.  They've alerted millions of people around the world to the whale killing they've witnessed in the Southern Ocean.  Now it's up to all of us to act on what they've shown us -- and finish the job.

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

Here's a message from expedition leader Shane Rattenbury, to you ocean defenders and all who have been part of this exciting campaign for the last 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 has supported our work down here by writing letters of support to newspapers and websites, and also to thank our millions of individual financial supporters around the world. It's thanks to our new faster ship, the Esperanza, that we were able to keep up with the whalers the whole time, and we couldn't be down here without that support.


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

Whaling is not just the concern of governments and cryptic political meetings. There is big business involved. While whaling is not profitable, you might be surprised to learn of some famous seafood companies' connections to whaling. We're asking you to help us make the whaling 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 whaling fleet.  We aim to  expose exactly how whalers profit from the fish you buy, and demand  those companies disassociate themselves from whaling. 

Nissui need to know that whaling is bad for business. 

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

Already in Argentina, activists have convinced a popular seafood company  to cancel contracts with Nissui corporation.  In just 2  days over 21,000 cyberactivists contacted the company and downloaded  stickers to place on Santa Elena products in supermarkets, to highlight  that the company was implicated in the killing 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 its one-third  ownership of Kyodo Senpaku to pressure for a shut down of the whaling fleet.

And while we continue to pressure those targets, we're opening a new front with Sealord, a New Zealand-based fishing company that is 50% owned by Nissui.  Sealord sells to seafood  distributors all over the world, and we'll be targetting products that  whalers profit from wherever they're sold.

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 a non-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 make room in your life to sign up for a newsletter, send a few emails, and help us end the bloody whaling?

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