Japanese whalers hunting in sanctuary

Issue 

Japanese whalers hunting in sanctuary

Greenpeace has caught the Japanese whaling fleet hunting whales in the newly created Antarctic whale sanctuary.

The crew aboard the MV Greenpeace found the fleet in the Southern Ocean for the third time in five days on February 14. This time, the three catcher boats and the factory ship Nisshin Maru did not run away. Greenpeace footage from the scene shows the harpoons uncovered and crows nests staffed as they began their hunt for minke whales.

When a whale blow was seen in front of the catcher Kyo Maru No. 1, the Greenpeace immediately sent ahead its helicopter and an inflatable boat to block the harpoon's path. The helicopter stayed between the whaler and whale for 20 minutes before the Kyo Maru No. 1 pulled away. The Greenpeace also tailed the catcher Toshi Maru No. 18.

After a snow storm blew up, the Greenpeace crew saw the Kyo Maru No. 1 joining its factory ship on the radar.

"The Nisshin Maru then took off — with, we assume, a freshly killed minke on board", said whales campaigner Kieran Mulvaney.

The sanctuary was created by a vote of 23-1 at last year's meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Mexico. The Japanese fleet has continued its so-called "scientific" whaling; the meat it produces retails in Tokyo's markets and restaurants for up to $US350 a kilogram.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.