Sea Shepherd’s latest update on Japanese dolphin slaughter

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I’m a little behind in getting his posted, but the update is still important:

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UPDATED: 200+ BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS HELD A SECOND NIGHT IN COVE; CAPTIVE SELECTION & SLAUGHTER TO RESUME AT ~ 2 PM PT TODAY

January 18, 2014 – TAIJI, Japan — Five separate pods of Bottlenose dolphins totaling more than 250 individuals including juveniles, babies and a priceless albino calf and its mom were driven into Taiji’s infamous killing cove on Thursday and held overnight. Swimming free just two days ago, they now face a lifetime in captivity in a tiny cell or brutal slaughter.

Yesterday, the members of the pod endured a violent and stressful captive selection process. Taiji dolphin killers and trainers once again worked side-by-side as they wrestled dolphins under their tarps where those deemed “pretty enough” for captivity were chosen. Babies and mothers were torn from each other’s sides as 25 Bottlenose dolphins were taken for captivity.

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Whaling update from Sea Shepherd

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Sea Shepherd Australia reports a Japanese whaling ship is nearing the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

The press release:

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JAPANESE HARPOON SHIP CLOSING IN ON AUSTRALIAN WHALE SANCTUARY

Thursday January 9, 2014 – Melbourne, Australia — The Yushin Maru No. 3, one of three harpoon ships of the Japanese whaling fleet, is currently approaching the 200 nautical mile limit of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding Macquarie Island, and entering the Australian Whale Sanctuary. The ship is tailing the Sea Shepherd long-range vessel, The Bob Barker.

If the harpoon ship enters the Australian Whale Sanctuary, it runs the risk of contempt proceedings as a result of the Japanese whaling fleet’s continued breach of the 2008 Australian Federal Court injunction, handed down in the case instigated by Humane Society International.

In its decision, the Federal Court found that the Japanese whaling operation had contravened Australian Federal Law, and had “killed, injured, taken and interfered with Antarctic minke whales(Balaenoptera bonaerensis) and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and injured,taken and interfered with humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in contravention of sections229, 229A, 229B and 229C of the Environment Protection and BiodiversityConservation Act 1999 (Cth).”

Sea Shepherd Australia has notified the Australian Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, of the approaching harpoon ship, calling for the Australian government’s intervention. Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director Jeff Hansen has stated, “Sea Shepherd is asking Greg Hunt and the Abbott government to have the guts to stand up to these whale poachers and send a clear message to Tokyo, that they are not welcome in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.”

As yet, Mr. Hunt has not released a public response to Sea Shepherd’s request.

In January 2013, Shonan Maru No. 2, the security vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet, entered Australia’s EEZ in contempt of Australian Federal Law. The then-Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, ordered the Japanese government to remove their vessel from Australian waters.

Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, stated, “Just days ago, we collected undeniable proof that the Japanese whaling fleet is illegally slaughtering whales in an international whale sanctuary. These callous killers, who were captured on film with the butchered remains of a slain whale on their blood-stained decks, are now approaching the Australian Whale Sanctuary. Their presence here is illegal, their actions are immoral, and they need to be turned away immediately.”

Late last year, Mr. Hunt reneged on his pre-election promise to send an Australian Customs ship to the Southern Ocean to monitor the illegal whale hunt. Instead, the Australian government has committed to send an A319 aircraft, operated by Australian Customs personnel, to monitor the poaching operations of the Japanese whaling fleet.

On Monday, The Steve Irwin and The Sam Simon chased the Nisshin Maru north and away from Japan’s self-imposed hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean. The Sea Shepherd Fleet remains vigilant, currently patrolling the Southern Ocean for the whale poachers.
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Sea Shepherd update: Japanese whalers driven out of Antarctic Treaty Zone

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Sea Shepherd press release:

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SEA SHEPHERD DRIVES WHALING FLEET INTO DISARRAY

AND OUT OF THE ANTARCTIC TREATY ZONE

Tuesday January 7, 2014 – Melbourne, Australia — Yesterday, at 1650 AEDT, after a 360-mile chase, The Sea Shepherd Fleet drove the Japanese whaling fleet’s factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, out of the Antarctic Treaty Zone.

Sea Shepherd has all ships in the Japanese whaling fleet accounted for, and can confirm that the whale poaching fleet is scattered and currently not hunting whales. The harpoon ships are separated by hundreds of miles. The Nisshin Maru is on the run and unable to stop and whale in its self-designated whale-poaching grounds.

The Japanese whaling fleet was escorted across 60° S and past the northern limit of the Antarctic Treaty Zone by the Sea Shepherd ships The Sam Simon, The Steve Irwin and The Steve Irwin’s helicopter.

The three Sea Shepherd ships are still in the Southern Ocean and will continue patrols. Should the Nisshin Maru attempt to return to the whaling grounds, Sea Shepherd will be ready to once again intercept and shut down their illegal whaling operations.

Captain of The Steve Irwin, Siddarth Chakravarty said, “This is an optimistic start to Operation Relentless. Within a day-and-a-half we have the entire whaling fleet in disarray.”

Captain of The Sam Simon, Adam Meyersonsaid, “We have won this battle, but the war for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary will wage on over the coming months.”

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Sea Shepherd: Whalers killing whales inside sanctuary

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Sea Shepherd Australia reports the Japanese whaling fleet is killing whales within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

From the organization’s press release from this afternoon:

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SEA SHEPHERD LOCATES WHALE POACHERS:

CONFIRMS WHALES HAVE BEEN KILLED INSIDE WHALE SANCTUARY

Monday January 6, 2014 – Melbourne, Australia — The Sea Shepherd Fleet has located all five vessels of the Japanese whale poaching fleet, including the Japanese factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

The Steve Irwin, The Bob Barker and The Sam Simon are now in pursuit of the whaling fleet, driving them away from their intended poaching grounds, disrupting their illegal hunt, and preparing to shut down their whale-killing operations.

The Steve Irwin’s helicopter first located the Nisshin Maru at 64°44′ S, 162°34′ W, in New Zealand’s sovereign waters in the Ross Dependency Antarctic region, and inside the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd has obtained compelling footage and images of three dead protected Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, taken at the time the factory ship was first located.A fourth whale, believed to be a Minke, was being butchered on the bloodstained deck.

Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director, Jeff Hansen, stated, “The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary has been tainted by the illegal slaughter of these beautiful and majestic Minke Whales by the ruthless, violent and barbaric actions of the Japanese whale poachers. No one will ever know the pain and suffering these playful, gentle giants went through from the time the explosive harpoon ripped through their bodies to the time they drew their last breath in a red sea full of their own blood. One thing is for sure, Sea Shepherd will do what ever it takes to ensure no more whales have to endure pain and suffering at the hands of these whale butchers from Japan.”

Captain of The Steve Irwin, Sid Chakravarty, said, “When ‘science’ requires you to grotesquely bloat up the bodies of protected whales, stroll across a deck smeared with their blood, hauling their body parts with hooks and chains, and discarding their remains over the side, then that ‘science’ has no place in the 21st Century. The Nisshin Maru is an out-and-out butcher ship and a floating butchery has no place in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Sea Shepherd will remain relentless in driving these fake, desperate and subverting ‘scientists’ back to Tokyo.”

The Japanese whale poaching fleet operates in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in contravention of the 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research. In June 2013, the government of New Zealand joined the Australian government’s challenge to the legality of Japan’s whale hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at the International Court of Justice. A judgement on the case is yet to be delivered.

Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “Once again, the Japanese government has shown flagrant disregard for international law by continuing their illegal whale hunt while the world patiently awaits a decision from the International Court of Justice. The Japanese government’s dishonourable attempt the skirt the legal process is an insult to the cooperation demonstrated by people around the world, dedicated to enacting conservation laws out of a shared recognition for the need for environmental protection.”

Managed and led by Sea Shepherd Australia, Operation Relentless is Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign. In its previous nine campaigns, Sea Shepherd saved the lives of over 4,500 whales.

Sea Shepherd Australia remains the only organisation committed to defend the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by directly intervening against the illegal operations of the Japanese whaling fleet.
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Release: Sea Shepherd back to work

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From Sea Shepherd Australia:

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Sea Shepherd Fleet departs for Tenth Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign:

Operation Relentless

Dec. 18, 2013 – Australia — This morning friends, family and supporters gathered at Sea Shepherd Australia’s Operations Base in Williamstown, and at Elizabeth Street Pier in Hobart to bid a fond farewell to crews of The Steve Irwin ,The Sam Simon and The Bob Barker as the ships depart for Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Defence Campaign, Operation Relentless.

Last year, the Sea Shepherd Fleet was successful in shutting down the poaching operations of the Japanese whaling fleet, saving the lives of 932 whales. In the nine previous Antarctic Whale Defence Campaigns, Sea Shepherd has saved over 4,500 protected whales from illegal slaughter.

Over the last decade, Sea Shepherd has enjoyed great support from people all around the world, particularly from Australia where the Sea Shepherd Fleet has called home for several years.

Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen, says: “The crew on these ships carry with them the hope, the aspirations and the expectations of people from across the world who hope to see the end to this slaughter.”

Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden, says, ”The departure of the Japanese whale poaching fleet is an offence to an international community patiently waiting on the expected ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Sea Shepherd will now, again, head south as the only authority acting to restore law and order to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”

Captain of The Steve Irwin, Siddarth Chakravarty of India says: “The Steve Irwin’s course is set for due South. Within a week my crew and I will be among our much-loved clients, the whales. We will not return until peace has been restored in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”

This year, over 100 Sea Shepherd volunteers from 24 countries around the world will once again stand guard at the gates of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to uphold the 1986 ban on commercial whaling.

Sea Shepherd Global Director, Alex Cornelissen of Netherlands, says: “Like all poachers we encounter in our global campaigns, we will deal with the whalers the same way we always do: Relentlessly.”

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Australia going after Japan’s whaling operations in International Court of Justic

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Australia is standing up for whales, against Japan’s fake and so-called research loophole it uses to defend its commercial whaling operations.

Specifically, Australia will challenge Japan’s slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd sent the following press release:

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Sea Shepherd USA Backs Australia in Landmark Legal Case to End ‘Research Whaling’

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. – June 25, 2013 – Japan may finally be brought to justice for killing whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary under the ‘research whaling’ loophole as a landmark legal case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, the Netherlands, begins on June 26, 2013. Following a 2008 order from an Australian Court to end the Japanese whale hunts that ICR has ignored, the Australian government will present its case against Japan’s whaling operations in the Southern Ocean during the three-week-long hearing scheduled to run through July 16, 2013. Australia launched the case in 2010, asking the ICJ to halt a hunt that violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) laws’ moratorium on commercial whaling, and was on a scale far beyond the ICRW’s rules on killing whales for research.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be present at the legal proceedings for the duration of the trial. Sea Shepherd has historically been at the forefront of defending whales in the remote Southern Ocean, reducing the effectiveness of Japan’s annual self-imposed kill quota of more than 1,000 whales. During the 2012-2013 hunting season, Japan only managed to kill 103 Minke whales (including pregnant females), the lowest tally to date, as a result of international volunteers led by Sea Shepherd Australia’s non-violent interventions. Since the whaling moratorium was introduced in 1986, Japan has killed more than 14,000 whales under the scientific research clause, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare — 14,000 whales, during an international moratorium on whaling and in a designated whale sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd USA hopes the outcome of this case will finally bring redemption to the whales and allow the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to truly serve as the sanctuary it was designated as and not as killing grounds. “Although the battle to defend whales is taking place in the Southern Hemisphere, people around the world are concerned about the ruling of this case – these are not just Australia’s whales, they are the world’s whales and we all have a vested interest in their survival and well-being,” said Sea Shepherd USA’s Administrative Director Susan Hartland. “A loss in the World Court would be devastating to people worldwide who support the efforts to save the whales, and as more than 90% of the planet’s great whales have been wiped out, we need to fight hard to protect the remaining ones from the same fate.”

While the legal battle of Australia vs. Japan will play out in The Hague, Sea Shepherd USA will continue its battle for the whales in a defense against Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) here on home turf. To take advantage of the research loophole and sidestep the international ban on commercial whaling, Japanese whaling vessels are emblazoned with “RESEARCH.” The ICR was given an injunction against Sea Shepherd USA to halt the non-profit’s participation in effective interventions in order to continue to freely kill whales. In early 2012, the lower court originally denied ICR’s injunction; the judges’ ruling acknowledged SSCS USA’s harmless, low-level harassment and recognized its public benefit. However, on December 17, 2012, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision with no supporting laws or details. The court injunction prevents Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd USA, and any party acting in concert with them from interfering with the ICR, requiring a 500-yard buffer from ICR vessels. This extreme ruling came with no opportunity for an evidentiary hearing to plead the case. If the ruling stands, the future of Sea Shepherd USA and the marine wildlife it actively defends could be at risk.

The public hearings from the ICJ will be broadcast live and in full on the International Court of Justice’s website at www.icj-cij.org/presscom/multimedia.php?p1=6 and will be available on UN Web TV at http://webtv.un.org/.

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Sea Shepherd fleet returns to Australia after another season of saving whales

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The full Sea Shepherd press release:

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Victorious return for Sea Shepherd fleet

Mar. 20, 2013 – Melbourne, Australia:
Sea Shepherd Australia is proud to welcome home the 110 strong international crew and three ships, the Steve Irwin, Sam Simon and Bob Barker. They have arrived into Williamstown this morning after a historic campaign defending whales in the Southern ocean. Their return marks an end to the most successful campaign to date, with the Japanese whalers returning home with the lowest kill ever. All three Sea Shepherd ships were damaged after being struck multiple times by the 8,000 ton Nisshin Maru. The Sea Shepherd crew have endured attacks by concussion grenades and hit with water cannons. After all they have endured during their non-violent defence of whales, they return home knowing they will be recognized as heroes by Australians and supporters across the globe.

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Sea Shepherd releases information about video of clash with Japanese whaling ships

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Sea Shepherd Australia has released video of clashes with Japanese whaling ships in the southern ocean, to support its review of the altercation.

** The videos are labeled private, so I did not include the links, as I took it the links were only for the media to view. I did watch the footage and the descriptions below are accurate in my view.

The press release is headlined – “Dramatic Footage puts lie to Tokyo claims.”

The Full Release:

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Flash grenade explodes over oil tanker in Antarctic waters

Feb. 26, 2013 – Fremantle, Australia:

Sea Shepherd Australia has released dramatic footage showing its ship, Bob Barker, squeezed and buffeted between the giant, Japanese whale factory ship, Nisshin Maru, and the oil tanker, Sun Laurel. As water cannons rained down on the Bob Barker and it was smashed between the much bigger ships, a Japanese coast guard concussion grenade explodes over the Bob Barker and the oil tanker.

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Update from Sea Shepherd: Whaling vessel refueling

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Sea Shepherd reports the whaling ship Sun Laurel was refueling and was entering the Australian waters.

This is of course, bad news for whales.

The Release:

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Sun Laurel in possible breach of MARPOL regulations
Whaling vessels being refueled in Australian waters
Potential oil spill in Antarctic environment

Feb. 17, 2013 – MELBOURNE, Australia  — At 2:45 am AEDT this morning, the fuel tanker for the Japanese whaling fleet, the Sun Laurel, entered the Australian Antarctic Exclusive Economic Zone at a position of 63° 07’ South, 84° 52’ East.

Captain Luis Pinho of Australia, onboard the SSS Sam Simon, has been in constant communication with AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Association) to keep them abreast of the situation.  He stated, “We have been pursuing the Sun Laurel all night and they have been operating at very unsafe speeds, in extremely dangerous conditions with icebergs and poor visibility. A number of times my crew and I could smell diesel from the wake of the vessel ahead. We collected samples that we have onboard which exhale an odor of oil. We are very concerned, for an oil spill in these pristine Antarctic waters would have a catastrophic effect on the Antarctic wilderness.

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Sea Shepherd ship engages Japanese whaling fleet again

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The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker blocked the transfer yesterday of a dead whale to the Japanese ship, Nisshin Maru.

The Press Release:

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Feb. 15, 2013 – MELBOURNE, Australia  — After an 18-day 2,500 nautical mile chase the Japanese whale poaching fleet and Sea Shepherd Australia’s fleet are now fully engaged in a confrontation as the Japanese whalers begin their attempts to kill whales. The Sea Shepherd crew is working hard to block their illegal activities and uphold the 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling.

At 1753 AEDT the Yushin Maru No. 2 harpooned a large Minke whale at 66° 02’ South and 75° 44’ East, 57.5 miles from Australia’s Davis Research Base, inside Australia’s Antarctic Territory.

At 1820 AEDT, the harpoon ship attempted to transfer the dead whale to the butchering ship, the Nisshin Maru. The SSS Bob Barker radioed to inform the illegal whaling ships that they would not be allowed to transfer the poached whale and moved into position to block the transfer.

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