Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ross Sea The Next Battleground

With the Ross Sea ice beginning to open up, Sea Shepherd is keeping a very close watch on the narrow opening, to see if the nasty Nippon whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru attempts to slip through. The whalers definitely want to be in there and the ice this year has delayed them until now.
The Japanese fleet is comprised of only four ships: NM and her three hunter killer boats. Instead of sending a security boat, Japan placed armed coast guard officers on the existing whaling vessels.
Two of the hunter killer boats, Yushin Maru 2 and Yushin Maru 3, have been tailing Sea Shepherd since the end of December, so neither's killed a whale yet. That leaves just Yushin Maru 1, which is presumably with NM. However, NM has been running hard west for eight days now (some 1,400 miles), and would have had little/no time to stop and whale as it tries to stay ahead of SS’s Gojira.
The whalers now face a dilemma. If they take their harpoon boats off the tail of Bob Barker and Steve Irwin, both SS ships will be free to hunt down the factory ship. If they don’t take off their tailing ships, they're without two killing boats for the duration of the season which will cost them a great deal of money.
Evidence of the whalers’ poor financial condition is that they've been forced to use their harpooners as tailing vessels when, in the past, they employed a specific security ship leaving the harpooners free to slaughter whales. The whaling fleet loses either way - by tailing SS they lose, and by removing the tails they also lose. On the other hand, the fast interceptor Gojira has no such tail and is free to seek out the factory ship.
...meanwhile accusations from YM2 that BB crew threw flash-bang grenades at their vessel. SS denies this, saying they don't have/have never had flash-bang grenades. However, SS is happy to say they threw stink bombs and smoke bombs (even the Japanese footage of the incident shows no flash-bang explosions).
Bob Barker running hard after Nisshin Maru
Today is the 11th.day since SS first encountered the whaling fleet. This is likely to be a financially disastrous year for the whalers, and the hardworking Japanese people back home will surely start asking why their government is spending so much public money propping up a dead and despicable industry.

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