The day before, SS's Brigitte Bardot found the harpoon vessel Yushin Maru III. It headed off on a line designed to throw Bardot off the track of NM. However, Bardot decided to pursue YM3, forcing it to put as much distance between it and the mother ship as possible. Result? YM3 has now been pushed 400 miles from NM!
The Japanese whaling fleet has not yet killed a single whale. All four SS ships are guarding the approaches to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and interception was made before the fleet could enter the killing area.
Co-Campaign Leader and SS Oz Director, Jeff Hansen: "We have visual confirmation from the crew of the Bardot that the harpoon mount on YM3 is tarped up and has not been loaded, meaning that the fleet hasn't begun firing their harpoons."
This means January has been free of whales killed, marking the first time ever that no whales have been killed in this peak month of whaling.
Update: The security ship Shonan Maru II, with armed Japanese Coast Guard aboard, chased SS's Bob Barker into the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone around Macquarie Island. The Oz govt officially notified the Japanese govt to order SM2 out of its territorial waters. Meanwhile, Steve Irwin is being tailed by Yushin Maru I. With Bardot pushing YM3 well south, only Yushin Maru II remains with the factory ship far north of the whaling area, and running from the SS vessels. Sam Simon continues to pursue NM, free of a tail and assisted by aerial drones performing search grids. Once BB loses the tail of SM2 it will return to the pursuit of the factory ship.
All SS ships have enough fuel to remain in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary until the end of the whaling season...