Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sea Shepherd's New Weapon

A custom-made warship with bigger engines and a long-distance fuel tank...(as blogged here 02 Feb.2015)!
Anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd have a brand-new $12m ship they say will match the speed and endurance of Japan's whaling fleet.
And with Japan's defiance of an international court ruling about to be in the spotlight at a global summit this month, the activists plan to sail the new vessel to Australia, before heading south to disrupt the summer whale hunt near Antarctica.
SS's Peter Hammarstedt: "The biggest challenge in our past campaigns has been that the Japanese whaling vessels've rammed us with their superior size, and they've outrun us with their superior speed. So this is a vessel they cannot catch."
Christened Ocean Warrior, it is the first brand-new ship SS has built, allowing the group to specify engine size and other features for its high-seas protests. Cargo space has been converted to fuel tanks to give the ship longer range.
SS won't disclose it's top speed but said it comfortably topped 30 knots in recent Mediterranean Sea trials - this'll allow it to catch the nasty Nippon harpooners and it can land a helicopter aboard, thus extending its tracking options.
All SS's other ships have been refitted older vessels, Bob Barker once a Norwegian whaling ship (c.1950), Steve Urwin a former Scottish fisheries vessel (c.1975).
Japan killed 333 minke whales last summer - the first hunt after a 2014 ruling in the International Court of Justice that declared the so-called "scientific whaling" to be illegal. But Japan has since exempted itself from the court's jurisdiction and drawn up new guidelines for whaling, effectively doubling the size of the hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.
In Sept., 95 countries condemned Japan's resumption of whaling, and the issue is expected to dominate a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Slovenia this month.

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