Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Hint Of Sushi On The Southern Wind

Sea Shepherd's season-long struggle to shake off its Japanese tails has come closer to NZ.
After the whalers disregarded Oz warnings about entering territorial waters around Macquarie Island last weekend, SS's two ships are now in the Auckland Islands, an uninhabited group about 460km S of NZ's South Island.
It's Plan B, after abandoning attempts for Bob Barker to RV with/refuel Steve Irwin at the sub-Antarctic Macquarie. Paul Watson reckons it'll be more difficult for the whalers to track them at the Aucklands, where his ships will use a network of bays to escape radar.
A NZ Foreign Ministry spokesman says the Japanese govt gave an undertaking that the whalers would not enter the 12-mile limit:
"Whaling vessels are not welcome in NZ territorial waters." (Oh really? Since when did a National Govt actually support what most kiwis feel?) "We've conveyed this message to the govt of Japan. It has assured us the whaling fleet will not enter the NZ territorial sea." (Curious - only two years ago our govt's rep at the International Whaling Commission, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, was loudly supporting an idea to allow Japan to openly hunt whales!)
Paul Watson confirms the tailing Yushin Maru 3 has indeed stopped at the 12-mile limit. But what could NZ do if the nasty Nippons ignored them, huh? Our new ships can't even handle a decent downpour! What hope in sub-Antarctic conditions?
The pursuit across the Southern Ocean has enabled other ships of the whaling fleet to avoid harassment by SS since Christmas. The factory ship Nisshin Maru is so far enjoying an Antarctic whaling season free of close approach by SS. With the aid of two other harpoon ships it's no doubt killed several hundred whales.

PS: 01 Mch.2012 - Now SS says the whole Auckland Islands biz was a ruse, to draw the two Nippon tails to that locale following Steve Irwin, while Bob Barker headed after Nisshin cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel!

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