Sea Shepherd E-news – Operation Musashi a Success
Sea Shepherd E-news – Operation Musashi a Success
Operation Musashi a Success
[B]February 11th, 2009
[COLOR=#000000]After shutting down the Japanese whaling operations in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary for over a month this season, our ship the Steve Irwin is now headed back to port in Australia. Operation Musashi has been a very successful campaign for the whales this year. We found and engaged the whalers earlier than ever, kept them on the run for weeks, and actively intervened against their illegal activities. The campaign received wide international media attention and recorded hours of video footage which will be seen by millions of people in the next season of Whale Wars on Animal Planet. We intend to return next year and will never stop intervening against their illegal whaling operations. Your valued contributions insure our continued action to defend whales and all ocean wildlife. [/COLOR]
[B]Ten Reasons that Operation Musashi Has Been a Success
[/B][B]Monday, February 09, 2009
1 .The Japanese whaling fleet was located very quickly in the campaign, the earliest ever that the fleet has been intercepted. The fleet was also relocated very quickly on the 2nd Leg of the campaign.
2. The Steve Irwin pursued the Japanese whaling fleet for over 2000 miles between December 18th and January 7th disrupting their whaling operations for 19 days. The Steve Irwin returned and relocated the whaling fleet shutting down operations of the fleet for an additional 8 days. We can claim 27 days that we physically prevented the whalers from killing whales. This means many less whales killed and more whaling profits lost. The whaling fleet will not meet its quota for the fourth year in a row.
3. The Yushin Maru No.2 suffered ice damage to its propeller while being pursued by the Steve Irwin. This took the harpoon vessel out of operation between December 20th and February 5th, for a total of 46 days. This will also reduce the number of whales killed and will cause a further loss of illicit profits for the whaling industry.
4. The Yushin Maru No.2 was refused permission to do repairs by Indonesia, a significant embarrassment to Japan.
5. Australia refused to agree to Japan’s request that the Steve Irwin be denied permission to refuel in an Australia port. This was extremely embarrassing for Japan to be denied this request and demonstrated an error in diplomatic judgment. Nations should never make public demands unless they know they will be met.
6. The Japanese whaling industry spent a small fortune rigging their ships with anti-boarding devices, covering their ships with netting and installing long range acoustical weapons. In addition they spent money on fuel while under pursuit and repairs to the Yushin Maru No.2. They also spent a great deal of money to charter the Taiyo Maru No.38 to transport a special security force. This ship had to deliver three injured crewmembers to Fiji (they were injured during normal whaling operations, not by any of Sea Shepherd’s actions), and because of this diversion the Steve Irwin was able to relocate the fleet and intervene before the security force could return.
7. Sea Shepherd crewmembers engaged the entire Japanese fleet in a dramatic two day confrontation that demonstrated the determination and the resolve of the entire crew to intervene against illegal Japanese whaling operations. The reaction to this year’s campaign by the Japanese whalers was a revelation of their frustration and desperation by physically and violently attacking the Sea Shepherd crew.
8. The campaign received wide international media coverage, once again exposing Japan’s continued illegal whaling activities. The campaign received coverage in Japan and has contributed to the growing controversy in Japan over Southern Ocean whaling.
9. Over a thousand hours of video was recorded for the 2nd Season of Whale Wars by Animal Planet. This program has angered the Japanese whaling industry more than anything else we have done. With Whale Wars we are reaching millions of people around the world to expose illegal Japanese activities. The first season of Whale Wars was a hit and the 2nd season will be even bigger.
10. Not a single Japanese whaler was injured and the crew of the Sea Shepherd suffered only very minor injuries. Our record of never injuring our opposition remains unblemished. We made the decision to withdraw in the face of escalating violence by the whalers because we could not control the situation with one ship against four vessels, three of which had greater speed and maneuverability.
[B]Sea Shepherd Returns From the Whale Wars
[/B] February 9th, 2009, 10:00 Hours (Sydney, Australia Time)
[B]February 8th, 2009, 15:00 Hours (PST)
The Sea Shepherd ship the Steve Irwin and her crew have withdrawn from the Japanese whaling fleet to begin preparations to return with a faster and longer range ship.
“I have always said that we would do everything we can short of hurting people to end illegal whaling in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson. “We have done everything we could with the resources available to us this year. We have shut down their illegal operations for over a month in total. We have cost them money and we have saved the lives of a good many whales. And although we are willing to take the risks required, even to our own lives, I am not prepared to do to the Japanese whalers what they do to the whales and the escalating violence by the whalers will result in some serious injuries and possibly fatalities if this confrontation continues to escalate.”
Captain Watson said that he has been operating at a disadvantage against three harpoon boats that are superior in speed and maneuverability to the Steve Irwin.
“We need to block those deadly harpoons and we need to outrun these hunter killer ships and to do that I need a ship that is as fast as they are and I intend to get one and I intend to return next year,” he said. “We will never stop intervening against their illegal whaling operations and we will never stop harassing them, blockading them and costing them money. I intend to be their on-going nightmare every year until they stop their horrific and unlawful slaughter of the great whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
This year the crew of the Steve Irwin pursued the Japanese fleet from December 18th until January 7th for over 2,000 miles, shutting down their operations for a month. The crew returned and relocated the fleet on February 1st and pursued them for another 9 days during which time the whalers were only able to kill five whales. A pursuit of the Yushin Maru No.2 by the Steve Irwin on December 20th caused ice damage to the prop of the whaling ship and forced them out of operation for a month and a half. The harpoon vessel was denied repairs in Indonesia much to the embarrassment of Japan.
Confrontations between the Steve Irwin and the whaling fleet have resulted in numerous close calls and two collisions causing minor damage. The whaling fleet this year deployed Long Range Acoustical Devices (LRAD’s) and high powered water cannons against the Sea Shepherd crew. No whalers were injured. Three members of the Steve Irwin’s crew were injured with one man requiring five stitches above his left eye after being hit by a blast from the LRAD and knocked over.
Captain Paul Watson is dismissive of Japanese accusations that Sea Shepherd deliberately rammed their whaling ships.
“The whalers and their hired PR flunkies can say whatever they want now but we have over 1,000 hours of video footage documenting every moment of the campaign. Our story will be told on a weekly series on Animal Planet with the show Whale Wars. People can watch and judge for themselves. The camera is the most powerful weapon in the world and we intend to demonstrate that power.”
On January 31st, the Japanese government dispatched a security vessel called the Taiyo Maru #38 from Fiji to intercept the Steve Irwin. The ship is believed to be carrying a special boarding unit and has orders to seize the ship and all video evidence, according to a source in Fiji. The ship is expected to arrive in the Ross Sea within days.
“We cannot allow this documentation to be captured by Japan,” said Captain Watson.
The Steve Irwin will be returning to Australia and is expected to arrive within the next two weeks. The ship had only another four days of fuel reserves to remain with the fleet before being forced to return anyway.
“Another four days is simply not worth getting someone killed,” said Captain Watson. “We are down here because we respect the sanctity of life. The whalers are down here to illegally destroy life. People can choose to side with life or with death, between the whalers and the whale defenders, and we have chosen to defend life, and for those who condemn us for what we are doing, all I can say is that we are not down here for them. We’re down here for the whales.”
[B]For the oceans..
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