Sea Shepherd gears up to stop new Japanese whaling fleet

THOMAS PITTS

Sea Shepherd is heading up their new campaign ‘Operation Nemesis’ which  entails preparing a fleet to combat a renewed Japanese whaling armada that is setting out to hunt 300 whales in the Southern Antarctic Oceans.

Japan have redrafted their scientific whaling research quota for the next 12 years reducing their capture numbers from 900 to 300 per year, a number that is still to high for marine animal activists group Sea Shepherd.

sea-shepherd

Sea Shepherd volunteers fundraising in Brisbane. Image: Thomas Pitts.

Sea Shepherd have launched their campaign’Operation Nemesis’ to combat the new Japanese whaling fleet which are set to whale in twice the range area that they previously have, causing issues for Sea Shepherds ability to combat the fleet as greater funding is required stop the Japanese fleet.

On the 18th of September 2016 Sea Shepherd begun it’s initial fundraising campaign in the Brisbane region for ‘Operation Nemesis’ with resounding results, expecting 500 people to attend the days events the event organizers were overwhelmed with 1,500 to 1,800 attendees.

Sea Shepherds Peter Hammerstedt Master of the Bob Barker vessel told the crowd at the event that the importance of the campaign was significant as allowing the Japanese to hunt unopposed in a designated whale sanctuary was wrong and not engaging them would be an injustice.

“We have to stop the whalers as we’re the only force able to,’ Mr Hammerstedt said.

Mr Hammerstedt outlined that the new Japanese scientific  research operation covered double the whaling area they had previously and this was going to create difficulty for their operations but they remained optimistic.

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Sea Shepherd in action against a Japanese harpooning vessel. Source: SeaShepherd.org.au

‘We can’t promise that we will find the fleet and we can’t say we’ll save hundreds like in the past but if we save one whale it’s worth it, ‘ Mr Hammerstedt said.

Sea Shepherds last operation in the region prevented the Japanese from hunting down 932 whales, a difficult task as the Japanese whaling vessels on several occasions rammed Sea Shepherds ships.

It has become a deadly game for Sea Shepherd crews as falling into Antarctic waters without a quick rescue can mean freezing to death.

A clear indication of how serious the situation is in the Southern Antarctic Oceans.

Sea Shepherd is set to include their new ship the Ocean Warrior within the ‘Operation Nemesis’ fleet, the vessel will be the fastest ship in the fleet that can match any poachers vessels that will be hunting in the Southern Oceans; a significant tool in further preventing the Japanese fleet from acquiring their intended catches.

As per their website, Sea Shepherd is “a a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.”

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