Last year, SS successfully shut down the Japanese whaling fleet, saving 932 whales. In the nine previous Antarctic campaigns, SS has saved over 4,500 protected whales from death. Managing Director of SS Australia, Jeff Hansen: "These ships carry the hopes, aspirations and expectations of people from across the world who hope to see the end to this slaughter."
This year, over 100 volunteers from 24 countries will again strive to uphold the 1986 ban on commercial whaling. The nasty Nippons plan to kill 1,035 whales, of which 50 are endangered fin and 50 are endangered humpbacks.
Back in the Land of Oz, pressure mounts on the Federal Govt to clarify its plans to monitor the Antarctic whaling conflict. Its ice-strengthened Sthrn Ocean patrol ship, Ocean Protector is still wallowing in the Tropics near Christmas Island, thousands of kilometres away from the whaling area. And last Tuesday's mid-year economic statement detailed Ocean Protector's commitment to the northern border protection assignment for a further year!
Peter Hammarstedt, master of Bob Barker, says SS is waiting with bated breath to see whether Oz Enviro Munster Greg Hunt will come good on the Oz govt's promise of Sthrn Ocean monitoring, and if so, how far it will go to enforce the law.
Oz last sent a Customs patrol ship south in 2008 when Oceanic Viking gathered evidence for the International Court of Justice case against Japan. While that was happening, the Federal Court upheld a Humane Society Intl. plea declaring the whaling to be in breach of Australian law, and issued an injunction ordering the hunt to be stopped.
Hammarstedt reckons any ship sent south by Oz should enforce that injunction. Yea - like THAT'll happen! The trade dollars speak too loudly! Any intervention down south will once again be up to SS, on behalf of all sane people around the world.
Japan's Minister for Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Yoshimasa Hayashi, says the fleet would be operating anywhere between waters S of Africa, and SE of New Zealand.
Hammarstedt expects they'll be in the whaling grounds by New Year...