Esperanza leaves Auckland for whaling grounds

Feature story - January 25, 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.

Auckland, New Zealand: The MV Esperanza departed Auckland today for the Southern Ocean to once again attempt to shield the whales from the whaler's harpoons and show the world the reality of whaling that is taking place under the guise of 'research'.

Our largest and fastest ship, Esperanza, left the harbor in Auckland, New Zealand this morning on its way to the sanctuary to begin searching for the whaling fleet.

In the Southern Ocean 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 in New Zealand 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 mobilized public pressure to forc 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!

Spanishboy 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 forwhales! 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

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